Free math games to play with your students

From our colleague at the Borough of Manhattan Community College:

Dear Math faculty colleagues, 

I hope the end of your semester went well. I am a math professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York. I just finished an NSF grant in which we created three free math games that you might consider using in your class this summer or in the fall. They can be downloaded to PC or Mac, or to ipad/iphone. More information is available at https://mathgamesforstem.wordpress.com/

The games span in level from basic algebra through precalculus, and are a great way to breakup the class time in long summer classes and in co-requisite classes – you can take 20 to 30 minutes to have your students play the games in class and it really brightens the mood and gets students actively engaged. If you are in-person, students can bring their phones, tablets or laptops to class and share them (it’s more fun for two students to play together). If you are online using Zoom or other video conferencing, you can screen share your own game play and have them tell you what to play next! They can then play the games themselves at home and send screen shots of how far they got. If you are online asynchronous, they can post on the discussion board about which game they liked the most, including a screen shot of their favorite part. 

The games are highly exploratory and interactive and have many levels, for students of all abilities. One game helps with solving equations, from simple all the way to absolute value and quadratics. Another explores line shifts and slope, including trig functions at the highest levels, and the third shows how equations of lines can be used in context. The three games were developed for a summer bridge program, taking students from high school into community college. 

The website explains more of how to use the games, and has download links. I hope you enjoy playing the games with your students, and if you like, drop me a line about how it went! 

Finally, if you are working on a Math Education degree, you might consider studying the effect of these games in the classroom. I have some preliminary data, and would be happy to help anyone who is interested in doing more! 

Dr. Kathleen Offenholley

Professor of Mathematics

Borough of Manhattan Community College

City University of New York (CUNY)

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About The WeBWorK Project

WeBWorK is an open-source online homework system for math and sciences courses. WeBWorK is supported by the MAA and the NSF and comes with an Open Problem Library (OPL) of over 35,000 homework problems. Problems in the OPL target most lower division undergraduate math courses and some advanced courses. Supported courses include college algebra, discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, single and multivariable calculus, differential equations, linear algebra and complex analysis.

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