How to Help Children Learn Math in Games

4/2/2014

Nowadays, children have become preoccupied with online and video games. This modern form of entertainment has made young people stay up for hours trying to hurdle a level so that they can go up. Children love thrilling victories and they can play for days without interruption if left alone.


If children can be so absorbed in these kinds of games, then it is highly possible that using games in learning activities can be effective.  A mathematical game is an activity where two or more players contend with each other to win. There are lots of mind-challenging and entertaining applications in mobile phones and personal computers.


Educational sites in the internet featuring learning activities have sprouted in the past few years and these tasks are as fun as playing computer games. With a personal computer and a good internet connection, parents or teachers can provide children with lessons in math that are presented in an interactive and delightful way.


Games can be effective tools in making pupils learn mathematical concepts and solutions quickly. Here are some tips in using the games the right way.


  • Use the game to teach a specific topic. Some teachers use these activities as fillers, which means that they are given to students so that they have something to do while waiting for the bell to ring. If this is practiced, learners consider them unimportant to their daily lessons and they will not try their best to outperform their classmates. But when used as a spring board for a new lesson or as a way of assessing students’ ability in grasping the new topic presented, they become a very useful and powerful instrument for teaching and learning.

  • The number of players must be limited so that each can have their turn to fully participate. Watch out for pupils who stay on the sideline and just observe others playing. Try to draw them to join and give them the chance to experience playing. This can encourage them to be more active in class activities.

  • Make sure that the game is appropriate for the level of the children. If it is too simple and easy, pupils will lose interest. The same thing will happen if it is too difficult. The purpose of the task is to enhance what students have learned and encourage them to apply the concepts, rules, principles, and formulas that they have studied in class.

  • Fast learners can get bored easily. To hold their interest, ask them to design games on their own similar to the one being played. Then, let the class use what they've created. Aside from motivating them to be active at all times, they will develop a sense of pride and fulfillment as they watch their classmates enjoy adopting ideas which come out of their minds.

  • Choose a game that can be finished in a short time. Most students have so limited attention spans that they get bored easily. Once they stop paying attention, what they are doing loses its significance and meaning and it is time to shift to another activity.

To have students learn effectively from playing, keep the games short, appropriate to their level, and highly interactive.


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