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# Learning Mathematics with Strategy Games Environment

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## Lluís Mora

on 14 February 2010

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#### Transcript of Learning Mathematics with Strategy Games Environment

Case studies on teaching research
Learning Mathematics with a Strategy Games Environment.
Asher
Bishop
Corbalan
Polya
Etnomathematics (1991)
Mathematical Enculturation: A Cultural Perspective On Mathematics Education
(1991)
Los juegos, las matematicas
y su enseñanza (1998)
What is a game?
The games are situations that point out an objective and we must reach it following certain rules.
(Asher 1991)
A game could be considered
as a particular class of problem
Corbalan (1998)
Problem
1.- Understand the problem

2.- Make a plan

3.- Carry out the plan

4.- Look back on your work
1.- Understand the game rules

2.- Elaborate a game strategy

3.- Apply the strategy while playing

4.- Review the results of the game
How to solve it
Niss
Mathematical competences (1999)
DESECO
PISA Study
2.- Understanding and using mathematical language and tools(4)
Thinking mathematically
Posing and solving mathematical problems
Modelling mathematically
Reasoning mathematically
Representing mathematical entities
Handling mathematical symbols and formalisms
Communicating in, with, and about mathematics
Making use of aids and tools
Gifted students, usually boys, failed in his compulsory
secondary school studies.

Problem solving is a very important way to learn mathematics

Curriculum, in Catalonia, introduce the mathematical competence or mathematical literacy

A big number of immigrants have been incorporated into our classrooms

Culture and games
Problem solving
Mathematical
competences
Dean Taplin
Ulrich Munstermann
There are up to six important mathematical activities that all cultures practice:

count, locate, measure, draw, play and explain

(Bishop 1991)
Games is a universal activity and Mathematics is a universal area of knowledge
Typology of the research
Qualitative: Case study by following two students
Group C is made out, also, by two repeaters, one student that has needed special attention during the two previous years, and 4 students that have passed with 2nd. Grade mathematics not passed. By the end of our study, the group had been reduced to 13 students.
Research tools
A summary of the works done by the students along the five experiment sessions.

A video recording of the sessions where both groups participated.
Dra. Núria Rosich Sala
nuriarosich@ub.edu
Lluís Mora Cañellas
lluismora.walipi@gmail.com
1.- Previous ideas and, what
will be our question research?

2.- Theoretical background
4.- Experience design
Four aspects
and
one question

achieve some mathematical

competences with the strategic games?
Game
3r ESO Sant Andreu de Llavaneres
14, 15 and 16 year-old
2 groups
Group A
Group B
There are 16 students in this group and:
one of them had special needs
one of them failed all the subjects the year before
one of them with a disorder of the feeding
the experience finalized with 11 students in the classroom
There are 16 students in this group and:
two students were repeating the course
one of them had a special curriculum since two years ago
4 students failed maths in 2n ESO (the year before)
the experience finalized with 13 students in the classroom
Gifted and de-motivated students of whom we showed its results (teacher opinion)
LAURA

Small daughter of a family with own business

Scholastic absenteeism favored by the family

Little implication in the scholastic education
FRAN

Small son of a well-being family.

Scholastic absenteeism favored by the family

Inconstant character. It always wants to be the centre of attention in any activity.
3.- Description of the game
Sprouds is a strategy game created by John N. Conway in 1966
Materials: pencil and paper
Game rules
The players must decide the points
with which the game will begin
The player that starts has, to link two points with a continuous line, or one point with itself. Once done this, the player has to draw
a new point in the arc just drawn.
From one point, no more than three
lines can be drawn
The lines never can be crossed.
The winner is the last player to do a valid movement.
Mathematical interest of the game
The relationship between the initial number of points and the maximum or minimum number of movements that can be done
To find, and be able to explain, which is the best strategy to win
According to Gómez-Chacón (1991)

It must be able to play one or more players

It must have a set of fixed rules

The rules establish the goals that the players must reach

The players must be able to follow their individual ways

The rules must establish clearly when a player has won
Why SPROUDS?
5.- Results and strategies followed by the students during the sessions
Understanding the game
Work presentation
Algebraic expression
To find and communicate the best strategy to play
Interest by the work
Teacher interventions
Laura is the first in seeing the importance on non-blocked points to understand the game running. Fran is also able to visualize that importance, but it is not able to write it. Work presentation in a whole group is important in order to achieve this goal for all the students.
If we want that all students fully understand the game, we need the teacher
intervention.
With the data displayed in a table, they are able to deduce the final number of points without playing.
In spite of the students know the best strategy to win, they have a big dificulty to explain it. Fran and Laura give partial explanations like others mates.
Troughout all the sessions, the work's level of ALL students has been excellent.
Teacher take part at two moments 1) in the initial moment of the experience and, 2) driving the work group in each session.
6.- Conclusions
1.- Strategy games are a very important motivating element

2.- Strategy games help to develop the mathematical literacy in a very useful way.

3.- Strategy games can be used in any social context

4.- The teacher work is very important to help students to achieve the mathematical competence

5.- Strategy games favours the work of de-motivated students, and help them to imply itself into problem solving.
final suggestions
1.- There're a lot of games for all subjects in the maths curriculum

2.- All the teachers should work together to get that gifted students do not fail in his studies.
Mathematical
competences
As we have seen before, there are involved several mathematic competences in this kind of work.
We suggest that
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