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Maths Games: A New Approach to Solving Maths Problems

From Imogen, published on 29/05/2017 We Love Prof - UK > Academia > Maths > Learn Maths through Interactive Learning

Maths has always been a difficult subject for a large number of students, however, others don’t struggle at all and even find it fun!

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as a ‘mathematical brain’ – it’s all down to the personal learning strategies of each learner.

Nearly everyone has the ability to conquer maths!

A study by Prof. Jo Boaler showed that 98% of the population has the potential to study maths at a high level.

There are many options for those who fear falling behind in class, such as finding an online maths course or taking private lessons with a one to one maths tutor.

Supplemental lessons with a maths tutor help can be delivered online or in person – the internet is a really useful tool for learning as it is full of resources and advice.

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Playing Online Maths Games Makes Learning Fun

Some maths websites from the early 2ooos are still as popular as ever with young students.

Studies have shown that effective learning begins with a positive frame of mind, so what better way to learn mathematical concepts than through play!

Ditching the blackboard and learning by doing with free maths games can help children overcome the mental block that comes with the pressure of national curriculum maths.

Approaching maths problems from this angle lets pupils enjoy completing cool maths games and motivates them to keep practising.

The method of learning through having fun is far more entertaining for maths students and works towards the same objectives of maths taught in the classroom.

In case you’re new to the idea of maths games or don’t know where to look, we’ve created a list of websites full of maths aids and fun maths games for kids:

BBC Bitesize

  • Level: KS1 – GCSE
  • Price: Free
  • Our favourite feature: Class clips which demonstrate the application of math in real life

BBC bitesize maths offers maths resources for all school maths levels and curricula across the UK.

Resources target the key areas students should feel comfortable with thanks to the country-specific games and free maths worksheets. This means students can access maths aids made with their qualifications such as GCSE maths revision, SQA higher maths and Welsh and Northern Irish exams in mind.

Learn maths in English, Scottish, Welsh, or Gaelic Find math resources aimed at your specific course ¦ source: BBC

It is also possible to access BBC content in the respective language of each country: English, Welsh, Scots Gaelic and Irish Gaelic.

So revise SQA national 5 maths in Scots Gaelic or KS1 maths in Welsh!

Bitesize offers a ‘learner guide’ for each of its topics, which include video tutorials and step-by-step math revision instructions with the opportunity to test yourself in certain areas.

Find walk-throughs and maths worksheets to mark your progress Get to grips with maths with detailed guides ¦ source: BBC

And of course, you can play games! Refresh your memory of what you’ve been learning in class or apply the math skills you’ve been practising so hard to the available games and reinforce your knowledge.

So see how your multiplication and division skills fare and find out how to improve, or even look at what’s ahead for you in school math! You’ll find anything from fractions to algebraic equations, to graphing and finding the common core.

BBC bitesize is full of fantastic resources to help maths students get more out of what they learn in school and can be invaluable to those preparing to sit exams.

Math Playground

  • Level: First grade – Sixth grade (Year 2 – Year 7)
  • Price: Free
  • Our favourite feature: Organising games into categories so you can focus on one topic

As you can probably tell from the name, Math Playground is an American website – but that doesn’t make it any less useful to British students!

This website is full of exciting resources including fun videos to watch and the ‘Math Arcade’ where you will find a wide range of interactive math games to play.

If you want to focus on a particular area of maths, you can easily find games grouped by topic and grade (which are similar to the UK education system).

Improve your maths skills with interactive maths websites Achieve maths mastery by taking a different approach ¦ source: Math Playground

So whether you want to practice your addition and subtraction, big maths word problems, geometry, fractions or ratio, Math Playground brings fun to the resources you need.

Hoodamath

  • Level: Kindergarten – Eighth Grade (Year 1 – Year 9)
  • Price: Free
  • Our favourite feature: The variety of games

Similar to Math Playground, Hoodamath is mainly a math game website which organises its levels with the US grade system.

Nevertheless, Hoodamath is a useful and attractive website for children learning maths. Topic-specific online math games can easily be found by looking in ‘categories’, so you spend less time searching and more time playing!

Learn math without realising it! Games motivate kids to fulfil their academic potential Playing games means that mathematics education is no longer a chore for kids ¦ source: Hoodamath

And once you feel confident enough, you can take a timed quiz to check your progress! Start by choosing the category and number of questions then see how long it takes you to answer all of them. At the end, as well as a score you’ll also be shown where you went wrong, allowing you to learn from your mistakes.

IXL

  • Level: Reception – Year 13
  • Price: £7.99 a month or £59 a year, add extra children for just £2 a month or £20 a year more!
  • Our favourite feature: The tailored learning approach

IXL offers online math and English help for students all over the world from Key Stage 1 to Upper Sixth.

IXL maths games motivate students of all ages to do well by tracking their progress and setting goals IXL: Maths and English support from Reception to Sixth Form ¦ source: IXL

IXL maths makes exercises and learning plans school-year specific in order to align with the national curriculum and give students a helping hand in keeping up with their classmates.

Just like BBC bitesize, IXL math can focus on the specific qualifications of each of the UK’s 4 countries, meaning students can learn and revise exactly what they are expected to know.

As this website requires a membership, it can keep track of the learner’s progress and produce reports with personalised objectives based on their work and test results. Another useful feature is that the IXL system can recommend whether or not the learner is ready to take certain standardised tests.

Focus of specific subject areas to make sure you don't fall behind in class Choose from any topic on the national curriculum ¦ source: IXL

IXL’s detailed resources on every topic on the math curriculum from triangles to probability to algebra and reasoning, so you never miss a trick.

This interactive learning platform allows students to learn, track and of course, enjoy their education!

Maths Apps

And last but by no means least, the latest method of learning maths is on smartphones and tablets. Download apps to your device to easily play fun math games on the go!

Many organisations call on developers to create apps to make their content as accessible as possible, and as smartphones grow in popularity, almost everyone has access to the Apple App Store or Google Play, where you can find these games – and a lot of them are 100% free!

Download maths apps and games to get to grips with maths concepts Apps are a fun and practical way to do maths on the go ¦ source: Pixabay

Here are a few of our favourites:

Busy Shapes 2

  • Level: Age 4-8
  • Price: £1.99 (iOS App Store)
  • Our favourite feature: 3D puzzles

Busy Shapes 2 is a spatial awareness game designed to improve critical thinking skills with its 3-dimensional format.

The aim of the game is to pass the object you’re given through a hole of the same shape. Each level is made more challenging as the holes start moving around, for example, or require you to avoid hidden traps. Busy shapes 2 teaches children about real-life concepts such as gravity when trying to achieve the objectives.

Inspired by the work of Jean Piaget, a Swiss clinical psychologist, this app is fabulous for encouraging kids to think out of the box. Piaget believed that the best way for young children to learn was to explore and manipulate the world around them. Busy Shapes provides different universes with the same basic laws of physics as the real world, so kids can develop their spatial awareness and see maths in motion with a handy app!

Although this is not strictly a ‘maths game’, the app builds on math concepts which will be useful for children later on in their academic careers, as they develop an ability to visualise and plan. These skills can help with geometry and graph transformations, for example.

Even though Busy Shapes 2 is primarily aimed at primary school children, many adults also enjoy it! The problem-solving nature of this game means it can be quite pleasantly addictive and the bright colours and ambient music make it perfect for unwinding.

Sushi Monster

  • Level: Age 9-11
  • Price: Free (iOS App Store)
  • Our favourite feature: Recieve a star rating out of 3 on each level

Designed by Scholastic, Sushi Monster is one of the most popular and challenging mental maths games. Children can either practice their addition or multiplication skills against the clock. The objective is to feed the monster the sushi with the right numbers from the table to make the number it is asking for. To unlock the next level and get a new monster, you must correctly answer all 14 of the monster’s questions.

Children improve their fluency in times tables and number sense as they add and multiply to reach the goal.

The objective is to feed the monster the sushi with the right numbers from the table to make the number it is asking for. To unlock the next level and get a new monster, you must correctly answer all 14 of the monster’s questions.

After each level, children are given a star rating based on the amount of correct answers they gave and the time they took to complete the challenge. This means they can come back and improve their score later on with new numbers.

Gojimo

  • Level: School entrance exams, GCSE & A Level
  • Price: Free (iOS App Store and Google Play)
  • Our favourite feature: Ability to track progress in learning and quiz results

If you’re preparing for upcoming exams, this is the app for you.

Gojimo is a simply amazing revision app for all subjects and specific exam boards! Whether you want to do some Edexcel GCSE maths revision or AQA A level maths, Gojimo will have tons of maths quiz questions for you.

All you need to do is select the qualification, the subject(s) you wish to revise, the exam board and start learning! Gojimo teaches by explaining the answers to math problems in detail, regardless of whether you got them right.

You can go back and look at your completed quizzes will overall score, time taken, and the opportunity to review errors. This is a brilliant way of tracking your progress in specific areas of maths.

Elevate – Brain Training 

  • Level: Age 10+
  • Price: Free for limited number of features, £36.99 a year for Elevate Pro (iOS App Store and Google Play)
  • Our favourite feature: Personalised training programme

Names Apple’s App of the Year, Elevate is a brain training app which uses games to assess your strengths and weaknesses, offering new personalised activities based on the skills you are looking to improve.

Elevate provides exercises and maths drills to help you work on your memory, quick-fire arithmetic and mental maths, speech and reading skills – all in one handy app!

Get maths workout training reminders or upgrade to Pro to access games whenever you like!

The brilliant thing about these applications is the way they are aimed at different types of learners. From primary-age children learning to count to adults who want to do a bit of brain training, there’s a maths app for everyone!

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