In 10th grade, students reviewed operations with radicals by playing a very special game of bingo. It was designed especially for the occasion by our Math teacher, José Manuel Baena and followed the International Baccalaureate methodology.
Thanks to this bingo, our students have acquired social and communication skills. They also proved to be supportive, good communicators and reflective, among other attributes of the International Baccalaureate Profile.
To José Manuel Baena, ‘gamification is one of the best strategies to learn Mathematics in a fun way, as it always promotes a more sustainable way of learning.’
Why is it so difficult to learn, understand and often pass Math? Does learning Math need to be boring? Of course not. And that’s the reason why learning mathematics through games has long become a common practice in our classrooms: bingo, dominoes and tic- tac- toe, among others.
According to Malena Martín, a graduate in mathematics with more than 20 years of experience in the world of education, learning mathematics is based on four pillars:
- NON-GUIDED LEARNING. In order to do this, it is necessary that we allow them to be autonomous from an early age. We know that children learn the best following this learning process, and that we can be a guide and help them when they are having difficulties.
- LEARNING BY DISCOVERY. Our greatest concern should be that children are the protagonists themselves. We should allow them to have physical and temporal spaces to carry out their own discoveries, with time to research and make mistakes.
- AUTOCORRECTION. It’s ok to be wrong. It’s through mistakes that they’re really going to learn. We must help them realize that making mistakes is nothing they have to be ashamed of, but, on the contrary, it’s the best way to improve
- GAMES TO LEARN MATH. Mathematics, like games, is neither easy nor difficult. It’s just about knowing the rules of the game and starting to play.
So, if it turns out that kids love to play and are able to understand the rules of games and develop strategies, why not teach math through play? Well, that’s what we do at International Private School Eurocolegio Casvi. We search for and create activities that, based on the use of some material or game, will adapt to the topic that our students are learning in class. In this way, mathematics is transformed into a dynamic game where students understand and, at the same time, enjoy, rather than get bored with static, non-participatory activities.
10 reasons to use Gamification to teach Math
- They allow you to reflect on mathematical concepts and properties. This reflection is the basis for building one’s own mathematical ideas.
- They recreate different tangible situations that are presented in a textbook in a static and limited way which produces errors and gaps in children’s knowledge.
- They encourage interest in the content and help banish the typical image of a boring subject matter.
- They produce enthusiasm for mathematics. They are usually activities that they want to do and teach others.
- They help you both introduce a topic and understand the process, or discover properties.
- They reinforce useful, necessary automations to make progress in mathematics.
- They enable both individual work, adapting to the needs of each student, and teamwork, as they give rise to debate, contrast of ideas and collective work.
- They are very useful for working skills and abilities that are necessary for problem solving.
- They strengthen self-esteem while generating autonomy in learning.
- They help to overcome mental blocks.