Intriguing Use of 10 Math Puzzles for Kids in Classroom
If math is not connected with real-world problems, facts or possible benefits, it is not interesting for most of the population. Especially to kids. In this post we will show you have to quickly raise kids interest for math assignments to the wow level like “Math is so coooool”, “Aha, got it!”, or just one big :).
We have found the solution, how to use modern technology in a new way to improve boring equations. We are stuffing older than a century math teaching K-3 with adorable images and gifs as variables and videos as rewards.
Our approach is simple, remove variables like a, b, x, y, or z in equations and replace them with images. It is more understandable for kids and funnier, and it makes the difference.
We are sharing 10 powerful math learning apps, ready for teachers guidance. Keep on reading…
Math, so boring and so necessary
Math is a specific, powerful vocabulary for ideas.
Our concept of numbers shapes our world.
Maths is the most fundamental science in the actual meaning of the word ‘science’
So, when it comes to math, teachers can disguise it under the form of brain teasers. Brain teasers get the kids thinking differently which is always a great skill to learn and to effectively solve the problem.
We have switched the term brain teasers with puzzles and that is incorrect but when you search through the net, most of the people misinterpret it. Sorry, that is why we will mix both terms.
Math is an incredibly interesting subject in school and it is definitely useful in our lives as adults, although most children see it as boring and dull. Many of them don’t find a particular attraction toward numbers and the connections between them because math is a more theoretic subject.
It’s not like literature where they have stories and characters; biology where they have colored charts and descriptions; or geography where they see everything on the map.
This is why, unfortunately, a lot of children don’t appreciate math and don’t enjoy studying. But what if there was a solution to this, something that could stir children’s interest in math?
We all know that children love beautiful pictures, games, and devices. If every subject at school would be a game then most certainly all children would love studying it.
Of course, we know that it is impossible to treat everything like a game, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make at least some activities fun.
A class that brings in something interesting, something that involves focusing and using your mind to find the right answers, but doesn’t appear like an unpleasant thing to do, will definitely be much more preferred by children.
Big Idea for the Classroom
Our idea is to start with findings of Learning curve in lecture (Bligh 1998)(2),
use findings for attention boost
- some activities like an “ice-breaking” activity or a quick game lasting for few seconds before the start of the session.
- every few minutes or seconds throw some attention captivating stimulus. (3)
and reshape them for students and teachers benefits.
What is better than unpredictable adorable images and gifs within lessons and videos or games within active “rest” period”? We could easily achieve dozens of attention peaks and significantly raise average student performance. It is a strategy of small and often wins.
We have implemented the logic of SMALL WINS to raise average attention during class in math teacher tools. Video rewards during “rest” period” and dazzling images during learning period, it is a double sided small win concept.
Using Web 2.0 Tools like Math Assistants
With a specially developed software, teachers can create interesting and fun math brain teasers or math puzzles that will introduce children to the world of math in a more pleasant manner.
What will these puzzles teach children? Just like anything else in life, the first impression counts a lot, so if children get to come in contact with math in a fun and attractive manner, there are high chances that they will enjoy studying math later on as well.
Thus, math puzzles will help children learn the basic operations in math, like additions, deductions, and multiplications, all with the help of fruits, cars, dinosaurs or cute dogs.
They will also enjoy math puzzle games such as math quadrant, math triangle, counting strategies, with cats, vegetables, and dinosaurs, and counting patterns.
The software is extremely easy to use and allows teachers to use their creativity and come up with a puzzle that will be appreciated by their students.
Perhaps it’s time to leave static teaching methods on the side and opt for something that will capture the attention of children and make them want to get involved.
Probably the Biggest Challenge of Every Teacher
is to make children pay attention to their class and have then engaged. But, we all know just how hard it is to make them stay put for a whole hour when they don’t have a pleasant activity to make this time more enjoyable.
Thus, when they will see a class as boring, they will quickly lose their interest in it and, at the same time, will lose focus in what is going on in the class.
This may happen when you start writing down additions on the table for instance because they will only see a few numbers that should mean something.
If you will replace this with a math puzzle that is about additions, but uses fun and colorful pictures, like fruits or animals, children will definitely want to know more about it.
Suddenly, additions will not sound like a boring activity anymore, because nice pictures and a puzzle that seems interesting and entertaining is a much better way to teach children new things, like how to do math operations.
For children, they may appear like games, but they are actually brain teasers that will make them want to use their mind to solve the puzzle. Without them realizing, they will soon start thinking about the right answer and how to make the right correlation between the numbers in front of them, stimulated by the puzzle.
The result will be children that will look forward to finding out more about math and do exercises, which means that their learning efficiency improved.
Can Math be Enjoyable?
You can even use these puzzles as rewards, during “rest” periods in Bligh graph, like for when they are good students, behaving and performing the tasks you want them to do.
You can also make your regular classes appear more interesting by sprinkling math puzzles here and there, as the software will allow you to perform countless combinations so that you’ll always offer something new and interesting to your students.
With so much technology in our hands, it would be a shame not to use it in order to make the learning process more pleasant and efficient.
Each of us learns something faster if the process is enjoyable, so the same applies in the case of children, especially young children. While classic lessons have their degree of efficiency, times have changed and we should be open to adapt them according to the latest tendencies.
Even if you, as a teacher, are not too used to utilizing technology, this particular software was made to be easy and convenient to use. In other words, it will take just a few minutes to come up with new math puzzles for kids.
So you don’t have to worry that you’re going to encounter difficulties in managing it.
If you want to make your math classes more efficient and attract more students toward this beautiful subject, now you can do so by changing the recipe for your classes.
Introduce these math puzzles for kids and make the time spent with your students more enjoyable, while also allowing them to learn new things and practice their math skills.
The technology was created to make our lives better, which also means that it can turn our teaching and learning processes into more effective and enjoyable ones.
We can tap into technology to have better-prepared students because acquiring basic knowledge is highly important for children to have a favorable evolution in their future school years.
And to answer a question from beginning, YES, math can be enjoyable for everybody.
We have created math puzzles for kids like math quadrant, triangle, cryptogram, percentage, ruler, visual equations, relations and counting strategies among many other brainteasing tools.
Selection of Math Games
We have prepared hundreds of math apps for download in 4 categories (kindergarten, preschool, grade 1 and grade 2) in our demo app center. Below are top game layouts that can be combined with 8000 built-in images, designed specifically for math skills.
Beside listed math learning apps all other game layouts can be used for math skills and we will show it at the end of the listing. Only imagination is the barrier, don’t get stuck with our grouping definitions of game layouts.
1. Counting strategy – grouping per 5 or 10
Images are grouped in 5 or 10, making children easy to count and develop counting strategy. It is a great math game layout for math introduction in kindergarten or preschool. Just imagine how would a child react if it would found favorite toy or cartoon character within the app.
Teacher selects game (counting per 5 or 10) and then selects images. A child has to count images and type correct number below. In this example, count ankylosaurus, and type 16. Pretty easy, right.
2. Addition and subtraction with random images
Addition and subtraction game are best to start within kindergarten and preschool. Addition games have two variants, counting up to 10 and up to 20. Images are randomly dispersed on the layout. Kids need to count images and type correct number below. In this example, count galaxies and type 6 below.
Addition and subtraction game is also presented in two variants, up to 10 and up to 20. Kids need to count only images without crosses. Crossed images are not counted but help in the understanding of subtraction. Since only one flower is not “crossed and subtracted”, answer is one for this example.
3. Math Quadrant
One of our favorite math games, images form quadrant and sums are displayed at the end of rows and columns. Kids have to calculate values for each image based on sums and type correct answers below. Original brain teaser we found was with basic shapes, but with images, it is something else :).
We also share video tutorial how to create math quadrants in matter of minutes and with any selection of images.
4. Math Triangle
Tringle sides sums must be equal to the number in the center of the triangle. As an additional help, certain numbers are already placed within triangle, kids have to drag and drop images, sports in this examples, into side cells. Goal is to make addition of one side numbers and images equal to the center of the triangle. We could also make it with only numbers, but then game would be “boring” once again…
Quick video tutorial of making math triangle.
5. Pictures in Equations
We have replaced a+b=10, c+d =20 and atc… with images. Images are variables in our equations. Kids have to fill value for last equation in the box.
If this does not motivate kids forbasic math operations, then we give up.
Ruler game embedded images into a draggable ruler, and ruler can be dragged near fixed measuring line for length determination. Kids need to measure ruler length and type correct answer below.
Images are covered with a partly transparent cover, kids have to determine the percentage of non-covered image part and click on the right answer below.
8. Operations with Sets
Game has three parts, images grouped with squares represent sets, set operation and randomly placed images below. Images are placed in Set A, set B and around in the upper part of screen. Set operation is published in the middle of the screen. Kids have to solve operation with sets and drag and drop only images from below to their corresponding images up that solve set equation. In this example, images of hair dryer, compass, playing cards and pillow are solution.
9. Encrypted numbers
This game is a fusion of cryptography and addition. Numbers are encrypted with images in an upper part of screen. Kids have to decode numbers below and type correct sum.
Game compares a total number of each group, kids have to select describing relation <, >, = between groups. In this example, what is the relation between salads and zucchini.
Listed layouts for math are not the only ones that can be used in the classroom. There are many others and we will share their functionalities in other posts.
Dear teachers, what are you waiting for? Download math apps per grades, just click the image below.
SlideShare – Math Apps Games
(2)Bligh (1998). What’s the use of Lectures. Exeter: Intellect.