Muskegon Community College

teachingcollegemath.com

Problem:

Inquiry-based learning is great,

in theory,

but time-consuming in reality.

http://xkcd.com/657

what if LOTR

was a textbook?

How DO

children

learn?

they

give

it a

try

they push at boundaries

"The brain is made to fill in blanks."

- Raph Koster, A Theory of Fun

We tend to LIKE something if we are able to "see" the patterns in it

When this happens, we begin to "groove" in the patterns ... to seek them out and to expect them.

the brain functions on three levels of thinking

conscious thought

mathematical

assigning values

making lists

recalling facts

sorting and packaging

integrative

associative

intuitive

"common sense"

autopilot

reflexes

running "scripts"

a simulation or a formal system where choices and rules are important

allows you to practice patterns and permutations of patterns

games are exercises

for the brain

as we learn the patterns,

we seek novelty and difficulty

"Fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun. In other words, with games, learning is the drug."

- Raph Koster, A Theory of Fun

"Boredom is the brain casting about for new information. It is the feeling you get when there are no new patterns to absorb."

Line Gem

Flower Power

Catch the Fly

Factortris

NLVM Circle Game

http://nlvm.usu.edu/en

http://bit.ly/9uhSJF

http://hotmath.com

http://funbasedlearning.com

http://www.funbrain.com/

Math Baseball

Multiplication "Game"

http://www.softschools.com

http://www.mangahigh.com

"How do I get somebody to learn something that is long and difficult and takes a lot of commitment, but get them to learn it well?"

Question that game designers ask themselves ...

- Dr. James Gee

"the best instruction hovers at the boundary of a student's competence"

- Andy diSessa, Cognitive Scientist

[Video games] tend to encourage players to achieve total mastery of one level, only to challenge and undo that mastery in the next, forcing kids to adapt and evolve.

- Dr. James Gee, University of Wisconsin

Wired Magazine, 2003

-Rath Koster, A Theory of Fun

Tombstone City

Munchman

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinah/239650274/

Babylonian

"Cheat Codes"

2

5

12

28

35

75

[ !?*!? ]

60

61

59

Think like a Babylonian

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/numbers/babylon/index.htm

Revelation #1:

Technology is making "content" irrelevant. It's what you're able to do with the content that's important.

Revelation #4:

I can still play the video games I played when I was a child.

Revelation #3:

My students, some of whom can't seem to learn algebra, CAN seem to learn complex video games that require logic, memorization, and teamwork, and strategy.

We've been trying all sorts of untested strategies to improve algebra outcomes for decades, with little or no forward progress.

Revelation #2:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobfoldsfive/2596985632/

Sorry bobfoldsfive, I am using this image without permission because I can't seem to log in to Yahoo to ask for permission. Please don't be mad!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/twid/410697715/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrjoro/89187454

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kkseema/2042946052

http://www.flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/959010447

they

try

over

and

over

and

over

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/3039389897

they seek patterns

http://www.flickr.com/photos/table4five/2055458712

**GAME**

Learning is not Linear.

Math Textbooks Are.

Problem:

- Raph Koster, A Theory of Fun

On linear learning paths,

students often get stuck

because of one concept.

Problem:

the act of mastering a problem mentally

**FUN**

Problem:

We give away the

"cheat codes" for the game (algebra) up front.

boring

some games just make games lame

some games are more like puzzles

and some games get it just right

Designing and using activities where students learn new concepts by actively doing and reflecting on what they have done. The guiding principle is that instructors try not to talk in depth about a concept until students have had an opportunity to think about it first (Hastings, 2006).

Inquiry-based Learning

addition & subtraction of integers

simplifying like terms

3x+4+2x-7

multiplication and division of integers

solving

one-step equations

x+3=6

finding points that

fit x+y=5

absolute value

e.g. |-8|

graph an inequality on a number line

where do we want our students brains' to be?

why did

you go in to teaching?

AHA!

is the brain having fun

**1**

**2**

**3**

**4**

**5**

**6**

See if you can figure out Babylonian without the "cheat codes"

a game is a delicate balance between

boredom

and frustration