## Monday, December 21, 2015

### Math Playground

Math playground is a website filled with nice interactive games.  They offer games for elementary and both middle school and high school which is great because even high school students enjoy playing video games.

First off, this site offers so many different activities, lessons and games to integrate into lesson plans.  I really didn't know what this site offered until I looked more deeply.

Math Playground offers quite a few videos for a variety of topics from  the basics of order of operations and divisibility rules to surface area and volume of 3D shapes.  The nice thing about videos is simply being able to assign each student a video to help reinforce their areas of weakness.  I like showing several videos on one topic spread out over several days.  My students love to watch videos.

In addition, this site offers some nice activities for Geometry, Pre-Algebra, Ratios and Percentages, Fractions and Decimals, all topics that are taught in middle school and in high school.  I have students in Pre-Algebra who have difficulty working with fractions and decimals.  Any chance I can give them to obtain additional scaffolding is worth it.

When I clicked on Pre-Algebra, I was taken to a page which listed all the games, activities, videos and word problem activities Math Playground offers.  I checked out the variable game where the student is an otter who swims in a race.  The idea is that the otter gains speed with every correct answer for a problem such as 3 x ? = 24.  There are 4 choices and you select the correct number to make the statement true.  It goes rather fast so the student has to really know their times tables or they will get frustrated.

The next activity I tried was the one dealing with linear equations.  The idea is to select the line from the choices which goes through several zogs (aliens) to be rescued.  If you are correct, you go to the next problem.  This activity starts out with x = or y = a constant.  I've found those are the two lines that students have trouble identifying and graphing the most.  Each level requires the students to do something different but are focused on a particular aspect of graphing linear equations.

The downside of this website is simply that when you type in the URL, you end up at the games page of games that seem to work on the iPad.  I could not find the videos or anything else.  Math Playground does offer a few individual game apps for the iPad, some of which are really good.  So this is a site for computers more than iPads.