Monday, January 25, 2010

Free Math, Language Arts, and Geography Games

During a recent visit to PS 4 in Manhattan, I learned Principal White was outed for playing video games at work with one of her staff members! "You caught me," she confessed to Assistant Principal Polubiec. "These games are just really fun," she shared, as she flipped around to her computer and typed in http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com. Ms. White selected a geography game where the three of us tested our knowledge of state capitals. What impressed me about the site was not only that the games were fun and free, but also that students in a class could actually play against each other at or away from school...how cool! Additionally, the site prides itself on safety and it is impossible for any contact to occur between players. Additionally, there is no log in or sign up to play. This means if a school or teacher determines a common naming convention for the game i.e. first name, last initial, class number, students in a school can play against each other at any time.
The games are research-based and standards-aligned and designed to engage, motivate, and help teach students. Geared toward elementary students, below are the areas in which the games are focused.
It seems teachers love the games. Here are some teacher testimonials.
"Many of the students play video games all the time at home. This was a way to let them enjoy their playing time, but to practice a skill at the same time."
- Mrs. Smeltz's success story in Lititz, PA.
"Aligning the joy of gaming with practicing math facts clearly helps transform the experience and invites students to learn in an environment they are not only comfortable with but would seek out given the choice."
- Mr. Sprankle's success story in Wells, ME.
"The math activities on your site have improved the students performance grades in classroom timed tests and have boosted the students confidence in their math abilities."
- Mr. White's success story in New Baltimore, MI.
"The students love this. They get so excited. Several of my students would rather stay inside at recess to play the games instead of going outside."
- Mrs. Kido's success story in Topeka, KS.
Innovative educators and their students will enjoy this free site and if they do, I encourage them to share their experience and publish their success story here like this teacher did.
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Jacob Gutnicki
Jacob Gutnicki
The Arcademics is a pretty cool site. You should also take a look at bigbrainz.com. My son (who has autism) has been playing Timez Attack for about 2 weeks. As a result, he knows most of the 1-4 times table. More importantly, this game has helped him develop a love for math.

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