Math games to learn number concepts and mathematical reasoning.
(learning games) are generally frowned upon as puzzles that have no significance for learning. They are used more for entertainment by experts who want to show off that they are not struck with fear by the word 'Math'
I am a student of Math. Although Math has never petrified me, I wouldn't consider myself a genius in it. I have found however that the subject excites me, especially when I am able to make practical sense out of it.
Math games have made concepts in Math more practical and exciting. Solving a Math puzzle or figuring out a Math problem gives a tremendous sense of achievement. Actually I don't blame all those snooty Math experts for looking down their noses at me when I could not solve a problem.
As a Math teacher, I focussed on finding relevant experiences for students to enable them to grasp the subject both concretely before moving on to abstractions.
I remember teaching my students to measure the lengths of curved surfaces with thread. Later they held the length of thread against a meter scale and found the exact length of the curved object. I used a learning game to do that.
I also remember teaching my children through Math games (learning games):
How to get a perfect square without using a scale, pencil, or a compass?
How to find the centre of a circular piece of paper without any instruments?
How to divide a paper into ten equal parts without using a scale or a pencil?
The concept of zero.
The concept of borrowing in subtraction.
The concept of multiplication.
The list goes on.
I, like many other Math teachers have discovered that Math need not be a bugbear. It starts to be as easy as play when students experience it in a concrete way.
Loads and loads of books have been written about making Math concrete. Geniuses like Shakuntala Devi have introduced the world to the magic of numbers. Systems like the Chinese abacus and Vedic Mathematics have taken the mystery out of numbers.
On this site I have detailed a few Math games that help us to understand a few Math concepts like multiples, patterns made by multiples, patterns of natural numbers, the logical thought process of Math, telling time, adding money, finding the lowest common multiples, or the highest common factors.
Find the links of some of the games in the blue box above.
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They can also be used to communicate a concept effectively. They add the 'aha' or 'Eureka' or 'got it' factor to presentations and lectures. They are great tools to use in debriefs of training games and learning games, to drive home a crucial point.
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