Inquiry-based Activities to Increase Students’ Math Understanding
Math educators worked with learning researchers and multimedia developers to create Math Snacks, an online platform that helps students in grades 4–8 work through difficult math concepts. Created in New Mexico State University’s Learning Games Lab, the freeMath Snacks materials address critical content, including number sense, ratio, proportion, measurement, scale factor, and prealgebra. Some Math Snacks activities address more than one content area and can be used in a variety of lessons at different grade levels. In one activity, for example, students explore ratios, part-to-part, and part-to-whole relationships through the eyes of sportscasters in ancient Atlantis as two teams play a momentous game of dodgeball. Each animation and game have a printableteacher’s guide with discussion questions, vocabulary (English and Spanish), and companion activities. Each animation also has a printablelearner’s guide that students can use to apply the math concept to problem solving. Students, especially English learners, will enjoy the printable Comic Book Transcripts of the animations. A short “teaching with” video suggests helpful strategies for integrating Math Snacks into the core curriculum; and a gameplayvideo for each snack helps students understand how the game progresses, even if they don’t have time to play it all the way through. The platform and activities are accessible in both English and Spanish.
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