Pop Some Math

The lesson Plan for math that I had in mind was more or less helping students to memorize their multiplication tables. This lesson plan is built over the course of a few days.It begins first in making an attempt to evaluate what the student already knows and has previously memorized.  This includes their, 0’s,1’s,2’s,5’s,10’s,11’s. Once these tables have been taught through repetition and practice the next phase is implemented, the 3’s and 9’s time table using the different activities mentioned in the lesson plan. Drill all these problems into their heads and make it almost like second nature. The last step is to create a 5min. timed quiz for the students to test their knowledge, 100 problems. Next and final step would be tying everything together.

This is where my game would come into play. Instead of using the traditional method of a drill sheet why not make a game where the students can reinforce their multiplication skills and pop some balloons. I would explain the the children the concept of the game and have each student spin at least once. We would do a few as a class no paper or pencil.  I wasn’t able to create a mock up of the game because it included so many elements. I took a while to build and it wasn’t finished till the day of the arcade.

I changed the rules form have the students give me all the possible combinations for the number on the wheel to only ave to come up with one. The biggest feed back I got was ion the non-popping balloons. Some suggested I use something else entirely but most said just make the balloons bigger so they can pop. However, I realize were could not conduct this game in an actual classroom due to the use of sharp objects. But the point of the game is clear.

Creation with a Pop

I have to say I went through quite a few ideas in the creation of this game. I originally wanted to create a video game for English. I realized, very very early, that that was’nt going to be possible at all. Next I though of using the wack the mole game to teach multiplication but quickly realized that that was also something that I just wasn’t equip to build. Then when discussing it in class I had realized that maybe wacking wasn’t the only action I could use to make my game fun.

I though of something else that children love, balloons. What better way to teach the kids but by allowing the to destroy them, pop them. So I decided that instead of doing a typical drill where where a combination of numbers, from 1 through 12 are placed together through multiplication  and asking for he answer, why not give the player the answer and have them give me the multiplication problem. So started by listing all the possible multiplication answers from the 1 to 12 times table. Then I wote down all the possible multiplication answers for each number I listed.

Next it was time to make the wheel. I got a plate from the 99 cent store and counted all the numbers I needed to place on the wheel (59), the number was uneven so added another space to the wheel, you win. I then used post its to write the #’s on the plate

what came next was the board itself. I used a decent size box and took it apart. I used to top panel for the directions.

the Next two panels I cut out twelve holes and brought some number magnets that I pasted above each hole. Once that was done I cut out the conors of some smaller boxes and pased then to back of each hole. This little “cup” would hold the balloon. the last panel I used as a stand t hold the base of the board up. The last step was to blow up the balloons. I blew up 90 balloons, didn’t even use half but at least I was prepared. This was the final product.

 

 

 

Multi- Pop

[youtube]http://youtu.be/5_UmA7bLXCU[/youtube]

My game was 98% skill and 2% chance. It consisted of knowing your multiplication skills. Being able to use the numbers 1 through 12 to figure out what two numbers on the board, when multiplied, gives you the number they spun on the wheel. Also, because they only had 30 seconds to figure it out there was a element of speed that was implemented, another skill. However, there was a hint of chance in my game, if you spun the wheel and landed on you win he player would have received 10 tickets without even answering a question.

I think people responded well the the style of the game. They wanted to play and realized, quickly that it wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be. Some of the kids were stuck on certain numbers and couldn’t come up with a combination.

My game was truly a showcase of knowledge game. It didn’t require students to learn much. However, in the end they would learn whether or not they really knew there required multiplication tables (1 through 12 table).

The mechanics of the game I feel were good. The mechanical areas of the game is what I would have changed. The board wasn’t very stable at all that was something I was most disappointed in. Another major issue I encountered was the fact that he balloons were not big enough to pop. This took most of the fun out of the game, I felt. I would have liked to work that out before the day we presented the games.The only rule I would have, and technically did change, was the one about popping ALL possible combinations. That rule I altered decided as long as the player gave me one they could win some tickets.

One of my favorite games was Find the Ace. I enjoyed that it was the complete opposite of my game, all chance. Iliked that it was a spn off of Deal or No Deal. The game was exciting, it gave suspense and was fun to play. However, out of all the games I played Physical Fitness Plinko was one that could have used a slight change. I loved the Plinko board and the way in which you won the tokens to play on the board but I didn’t like the structure of the rules at the beginning. For one the definitions written on the card needed to be more legible. Two, I feel each player should have received maybe 50 or 60 seconds to place the definitions in the right spot. Third the fact the the player was handed the definitions kind of slowed down a part of the game that as suppose to be speedy. Other than that the game was awesome!

I loved this class. My expectation was that it was going to be computer based with exams on how to operate programs and technical devices. I was happy to see the class was not like that at all. Having the class goal be an arcade game for students to play to help them learn was a fantastic idea. I feel it taught us, as teachers, to be open to the idea that chalk, notes and textbook readings aren’t always as effective in teaching as making learning fun. We have to add technology and it isn’t limited to computers technology can be anything, any tool, that isn’t text based.

My favorite assignment this class was the maker Research Assignment. I found MOOC’s to be so interesting. Learning how they worked, what their goal was originally and how that goal changed over time. I was interested in all the problems that contributed t the POSSIBLE demise of MOOC’s as a creditable way to earn a degree. I would change this class by NOT making it a winter course but rather a regular semester course. I think that would allow students to really create an amazing game that would not only be fun an learning oriented but one tht they could later implement in their own classroom.

Making Makers

The “Maker” subculture is gaining momentum.  Makers are people of all ages who create and build beautiful projects such as robots, electronics, and arts and crafts.  The idea behind the maker movement is for people to learn by doing.  It is a hands-on approach to learning which fosters creativity and self-expression.  Each year a convention is held in New York, Detroit, and San Francisco’s Bay area called “The Maker Faire“.  The faire showcases projects from makers young and old from all around the country.

A boy looks at Super Mario Lamps during the Maker Faire in San Francisco.                                              (Picture courtesy of spotlight.macfound.org)

The Maker Faire was a huge success but that is not the only reason to be excited.  The faire’s founder, Dale Dougherty, has announced a new maker education initiative.  The program will expand hands-on learning and building experiences for children in schools and other learning environments.

“We believe making provides rich, authentic learning experiences,” Dougherty said. “Such experiences promote creativity and develop problem solving skills while helping to establish a lifelong interest in science and technology. Becoming a maker can be life-changing for a child.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlrB6npbwVQ[/youtube]

As a future K-12 educator I am pleased to see that there is a growing movement to incorporate hands-on building, creating, and learning in our schools.  Students must be able to express themselves not only with words but with physical pursuits.  I myself am a hands-on learner, so I appreciated the importance of getting dirt on your hands and creating something from scratch.  As Mr. Dougherty says, “We are makers”.  Humans are natural creators and it is time we get back to our roots and foster our natural abilities.