## Fraction Games

July 8, 2009

Sometimes we search for different games out there to help us with specific Mathematics topics. I want to show you some of the different Fraction Games we have at Hooda Math and also suggest one game that can be played in the classroom from NCTM.

One of the first Flash Games for Hooda Math was Fraction Poker.

Fraction Poker

Fraction Poker is an excellent Fraction Game to work on your equivalent fractions. Basically you press deal, and look at the five “cards”. Figure out which ones are equivalent fractions and click on them. Then press draw, and finish clicking on the equivalent fractions. Sometimes you might have two sets of equivalent fractions, in the case of two pairs or full house. This fraction game is to mix the fun of video poker games and learning to recognize your equivalent fractions.

Another Fraction Game on Hooda Math that works on slightly easier fractions than Fraction Poker is our game Fraction Eaters.

Fraction Eaters

Fraction Eaters is a simple game and reminds the older crowd of number munchers. The controls are the arrow keys and if you think a fraction is equivalent to the fraction in the upper right side, then you click space bar. After all the equivalent fractions have been eaten, you will advance to the next level. If you think you ate them all and you haven’t advanced, look again. Remember it isn’t easy as you think, you have to do this while avoiding a very scary purple monster.

## Games Can Teach Review of Hooda Math

July 7, 2009

I found out about Hooda Math when the creator of the site posted a guest entry on Emanuele Feronato‘s Blog. Michael Edlavitch is a math teacher who made some educational math games while he was between teaching jobs. He made a website to host his games, and then decided to host other math-related games as well. Now he owns a successful niche Flash game site with 10,000 visitors per day! What interests me the most about this story is that Michael’s games are based on the classic Apple II game “Number Munchers“. Number Munchers was was one of my favorite games for the Apple II when I was a kid. I played it outside of school way more than I did inside. I was motivated by wanting to see how each of the different types of bad guys (called “Troggles”, if I recall correctly) behaved. I also loved watching the humorous animated cutscenes you would earn after every few levels. Wanting to see more of those kept me playing for longer than I probably would have. Depending on your age, you may have played the Mac version of the game instead.

Hooda Math’s Number Eaters games are actually a bit of a dissapointment from the perspective of a childhood fan of Number Munchers. Flash game technology is leaps and bounds beyond the technology of the Apple II, but Number Eaters actually has less graphics and animation than Number Munchers did. There also seems to be only one kind of enemy, and he isn’t much of a challenge. Where’s the Troggle that follows you? Where’s the cute one that actually sometimes helped you by eating numbers? Where that annoying one that added numbers to spots you’d already cleared? Where are the “safe zones”? Those extra gameplay elements may not have added much to the educational value of Number Munchers, but it did make the game more entertaining by requiring more strategy and quick-thinking from the player. This isn’t me advocating the “spoonful of sugar” approach – eating the correct number is the core gameplay mechanic  – this is me saying “games should be games”.

Still, Hooda Math is worth checking out. New math games are always being added, and beyond that it has resource links, and tutorial videos for math concepts.

Play the Apple IIgs version of Number Munchers using a Java-based emulator!

Play Multiplication Eaters on Hooda Math.

## Hello world!

July 7, 2009

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## Emanuele Feronato Post About Hooda Math

June 7, 2009

This is the interesting story of Michael Edlavitch from Hooda Math, a 10,000 visitors/day successful niche Flash arcade site.

If you are an arcade site owner, you can’t miss this:

« Before Walmart moves into a small town they offer classes to the small business owners on how to keep their businesses a float. What do they teach?

Don’t be like us, find your niche.

Inspired by Number Munchers

Last August, I had still not found a job for the coming school year and had a lot of time to procrastinate while waiting for interviews.

I knew I would be teaching math somewhere and to who knows what age.

I figured I would also have a flash version of the original game “Number Munchers” that taught me all of my arithmetic facts, so that my students could also learn there facts in a fun and addicting way.

Even middle schoolers don’t always know there facts.

I made Number Eaters for Multiplication, which I easily remade another version for Addition, Subtraction, Division, Fractions, Decimals, Place Value, etc

Enter HoodaMath

I needed a place to easily bring my students to play these games online.

I have always believed that a good website contains OO in its URL, yahOO and gOOgle.

There must be something to it. So I searched baby name sites for a name with OO.

I came across the name Hooda. Hooda means “the right way”.

I thought “the right way” to learn math? How perfect I will name my site HoodaMath.com .

It will also be easy for the students to remember because it sounds a lot like the phrase, “Who the Man”.

I need Money

Since I learned Flash and I still had no job, but I had rent to pay, I decided to look into freelance work, which paid nothing thanks to outsourcing online.

I read about Flash games a lot, one blog I went back to regularly was emanueleferonato.com

He was full of advice on how to make different types of games. At his blog I learned about FGL, where programmers could sell there games.

It inspired me to make a high quality game.

I still had math on the brain so I made a high quality pacman style math game for students to learn their Factors. I called it “Factor Feeder”.

I put it out on FGL, got lots of comments on how to fix it up and make it look more professional. No-one wants to buy a math game for their arcade.

I gave up and displayed it on NewGrounds, the members there explained to me that teenagers don’t want to play a math based game, so it is never going to get tons of hits

I figured OK, I can’t sell games, but if you read another article on emanuel’s blog about monetizing using MochiAds and do the MATH. I realized the real money is in adsense anyways.

So I added adsense to my site. I forgot to mention my wife knows webdesign so I had her make a kid friendly looking site, then gave her the adsense code and she placed it easily using dreamweaver.

I read on adsense about the success stories of sites that already had an audience, and I was like oh that will never happen I don’t even have an audience.

After about a month one day I made \$0.50 and I was siked. Then the next month I hit \$1.0. I started doing calculations all the time. If I make a little above \$3.00 a day I could get paid \$100 every month how awesome.

The school year started

The school year started I got a job, actually 2, because I was split between 2 schools working more hours than I was getting paid and teaching students ranging from 9 years old to 14.

I also had access to the computer labs and brought my students to play the games at my site ;). One day a middle schooler and I were talking about games and he said why don’t I put Totem Destroyer on my site.

I thought well lets just play it on another site. You can’t because the school systems have blocked all the game sites.

Luckily I have a math site (I still had the intention of putting up tutorials), I decided to put on Totem Destroyer and a few other games that I believed to be Math related like Coffee Shop.

Needless to say my site became quite popular.

Spamming

I decided if I was going to make any money on adsense, I better start telling everybody about it.

I discovered all the homeschooling blogs and let them know, then I emailed everyday tons of teachers across the country and still do, my site was growing, I was making a little over \$100 and I was happy.

Take a Shot

I decided to write to NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Math) about my site and requesting to get mentioned in their Newsletter.

To my surprise they immediately said yes, and HoodaMath will be in there in the July/August issue. I am looking forward to the publicity.

I figured why not take another shot and ask Multiplication.com to put a link to my game Multiplication Eaters, he did, and my traffic grew tremendously.

I also decided to reinvest the monthly \$100 or most of it on Adwords, I still needed to get more visitors. I won’t give away all the tricks, but keep in mind with Adwords, you only pay if someone clicks on your ad, not if they just read the words “Hooda Math”.

Thanks to my spamming and more importantly to a great link from Multiplication.com, my site grew rapidly and I was getting \$100 more each month.

I decided I better start investing in games. I looked into sponsoring games at FGL but they wanted \$500 or 10,000 unique visitors a day.

I thought I better start saving up money. I spent the money I had on outsourcing to a couple of programmers to make games, I’m still waiting for the games, hopefully soon.

But in the mean time I added Google Analytics and found out that I am getting 10,000 visitors a day and immediately let FGL know as well as every single person I talk to who appreciates what a big deal that is. and here I am writing an article for a blog I use to read in awe.

Here is my first game I made by outsourcing

## Free Stock Market Simulation

April 11, 2009

How the Market Works.com was my favorite of the online Stock Market simulations teachers can do with their class. I chose it because it has a teacher option to set-up a private game as well as monitor your students progress. I used the game for a quarter and was able to make worksheets to go along with the game. I will be glad to post the worksheets if anyone has any interest. This site has many features: it has a calculator for students to calculate how many shares they want to purchase, it is a FAQ explaining the basic questions about the stock market, you can download an excel spreadsheet that shows comparisons of your students progress, and a whole lot more. If you know of a better free site please let me know.

## Algebra Help dot Com

April 5, 2009

I am always looking for sites where students can help themselves. In this modern age, we need students to realize the internet is a source for information and not just video games and music. I brought my students to the computer lab to search for sites that would help them on the Algebra problems I had assigned. They came across AlgebraHelp.com, a site with a bunch of helpful resources. Our favorite item was the equation calculator. With the equation calculator a student can type in an equation with a variable and receive step-by-step instructions on how to solve the problem. Since I require my students to show their work, this is a great resource for them to check their work at home.

April 2, 2009

If you don’t know about this site yet, go visit Arcademic Skill Builders immediately then come back and read the review. Seriously look at all the multi-player games, and that isn’t the normal multi-player sense. It should be called multi-computer, because that’s right you can get up to 8 students (or 7 and 1 teacher) competing on arithmetic skills at once.

Arcademic Skill Builders is coming out of the University of Kansas, so they must be doing something right with their funding. I wish they spent some money in marketing because every teacher should know about this site. And its free!!!

## Sudoku + Arithmetic = KenKen

April 2, 2009

My wife cannot stop playing it and I have to admit I play it a bit too. Sudoku did not fully grasp by interest, but KenKen makes you practice your Arithmetic skills and makes good use of factors and multiples. You got to check it out. I have not introduced it to any Math Students yet, if you do let me know how they like it.

## NSA: Collected Learning Units

April 1, 2009

Read a few of them, I’m sure you will be impressed. Come back to hoodamath.com and write a review of the unit.

## Coffee Shop – Lesson 5

March 25, 2009

Business owners always keep records of their costs and their sales to keep track of their profits. While playing the Coffee Shop Game you need to fill out the balance sheet below: