Free Lunch?… There are Free Math Snacks for the Computer and iPad… A Diet of 21st Century Education Skills!


I thought it might be fun to check out some digital possibilities with math… and have I found a site to that you will want to sink your teeth in. It’s just plain delicious, entertaining, student oriented, fun, and will have kids smiling as they learn about number theory and applications. Before I give  this delightful food for mathematical thought let  me remind you to subscribe to this 21centuryedtech Blog. You can do it by RSS or email, and I promise you the best in 21 century skill educational material, Project Based Learning, STEM education, and technology integration! I sure hope you join me in this unique learning community and also remember to follow me on twitter at mjgormans. Now, enjoy an awesome snack filled with some great tasting Math! Have a great week! – Mike

When was the last time you had a great feast filled with numbers, equations, operations, and theory? Perhaps you are ready for some Math Snacks! This small but growing website has the recipe that will allow your students to byte into a healthy diet of mathematical understanding. Best of all, the games and videos can be integrated into a math science curriculum whether your dinner plate is a computer, iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Let me introduce you to a wonderful resource.

Math Snacks are short fun filled animations and mini-games that have been designed to present mathematics in a very different way. In fact, the developers hope these snacks don’t look like traditional math at all.  The recipe is intended to develop Math Snacks that give students, especially those who don’t particularly like math, another way to look at math concepts. Best of all, Math Snacks principles have been designed to relate to the core mathematics concepts that students should know and be able to do in grades 6, 7 and 8. Of course the availability of Math Snacks on the Internet, iPhone and iPad, makes it possible for students to enjoy the games and animations during non-school time, as well as in class. Imagine students consuming a wonderful menu of Math Snacks on their way to and from school, at home, and in libraries or after-school centers. There is even colorful and motivational  print materials for each animation that will assist learners in applying their conceptual understanding to additional math activities and problems. These impressive publications are rich in resources and include both teacher and student editions. There is even a game that motivates students to understand number theory through formative methods… something computer games are so good at doing! The list of math snacks, currently about six, promises to be around twenty by 2014.

In choosing math topics the researchers at Math Snacks look for gaps in mathematics understanding. Teams have compiled data on what students don’t currently understand and the concepts that teachers have a difficult time conveying to their students. Current topics include :

Atlantean Dodgeball – Set back in time at an ancient dodge ball tournament this video includes rulers, values, proper units, and proportional details. Students learn that various techniques are helpful in solving proportion, including tables, graphs, measurement, and equations. They understand that given an application problem, using the units can help to set up the correct proportion.. Last, when proportions are graphed on a coordinate plane, the graph is linear. There are great lessons and handouts that compliment and extend the activity.

Bad Date – This humorous animation visualizes the ratio of words spoken on a series of dates. Using an awesome hook to pull kids in, it addresses how proportions as multiplicative situations and proportional relationships can be related to a common rate in direct variations. There are great lessons and handouts that compliment and extend the activity.

Numbers Rights – Did you ever wonder if numbers had rights?  Students are introduced to a passionate activist that clarifies equality on a number line while introducing number line properties. There are great lessons and handouts that compliment and extend the activity.

Over Ruled – One of my favorites involving a focus on  proper units and proportional details. This animation demonstrates how various techniques are helpful in solving proportion, including tables, graphs, measurement, and equations. It explains how given an application problem, using the units can help to set up the correct proportion. Best of all, it demonstrates that when proportions are graphed on a coordinate plane, the graph is linear. There are great lessons and handouts that compliment and extend the activity.

Scale Ella – Involves a crusading superhero who clarifies  scale factor to correct scaling problems that have been created by a villain. This animation helps students understand that objects which are scale representations of each other have the same shape, but not the same size. Also, it relates that size difference is related to the scale factor. It appears that resource material is still being developed and after viewing the video it should be interesting to see the emphasis of the related materials.

Pearl Diver – This is a number line math game. Students learn the number line while diving for pearls amidst shipwrecks and sunken ruins. It is highly recommended  for grades 3-8 and of course fun loving seafarers. There is even a Sushi Round testing  approximation skills!  Students can catch the deadly eel and put it on their cutting board. Of course, it has to be divided in equal sections to get the most out of the catch.

So, if you and your students have the appetite to dive for a deeper understanding of math, your classroom could be ready for a math snack. Learn more about the awesome development team behind Math Snacks and visit the download page for all that is available. Make sure you check out those great accompanying resources found in the PDF files for students and teachers. I should also tell you there is a blog that will keep you up-to-date as the Math Snacks menu expands!

Thanks for joining me on another journey in 21st century education. Join me as I continue  ” Going Digital”.  But that’s not all… future posts will also contain resources on evaluating web resources, Project Based Learning, STEM, Web 2.0, and so much more on 21st Century Learning. Please take a moment to subscribe by RSS or email! Your subscription means a lot to me and I thank you in advance. In fact, you can also give this article a retweet if you scroll to the bottom! It’s a great way to spread the word and I appreciate your support. Thanks, until next time… try a math snack… its rich in learning and contains no calories.  Have a great week! – Mike

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