Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

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

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

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.

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 discovered Adsense

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”.

I made it

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

Coffee Shop

February 20, 2009

Hey everyone I got a new version of Coffee Shop that works with Flash 10.

Thank you Armor Games. And Thank you all who have been so patient, waiting to play their favorite game Coffee Shop again.

Coffee Shop Game

Mixed Numbers into Improper Fractions

February 16, 2009

Last week I sucessfully taught all of my students to convert Mixed Numbers into Improper Fractions. I related the process first to getting quarters or rolls of dimes but then to getting tokens at an arcade or chuck.e.cheese which received a big laugh from my middle school students.

So first I give them a mixed number like :

and tell them that is $3 and 1 Quarter. So you already have one quarter in your pocket how many quarters do you get for $3?

It may take them a while but someone figures out they have to multiply the 3 by 4 to get 12.

So 12 quarters plus the 1 quarter you already had in your pocket makes 13 quarters.

and there you have it. Then I repeated the problem with dimes for instance:

Now it gets tricky (or here is the trick). How do you teach:

The description I used, was getting tokens at an arcade (you could also use tickets at a carnival). If it costs $1 for 7 tokens how many tokens do you get for $2? and add the 5 tokens you already have in your pocket which totals, how many tokens?

Out of all the fraction equivalences on the friday quiz, my students were able to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions the best. It is Amazing how a little anecdote can go a long way!

The Best Math Games Ever!!!

February 15, 2009

I have not had a student lose interest while playing the racing games at Arcademic Skill Builders. Every teacher in the country should be using this site with their students. We can all thank the University of Kansas for this great site. Students can compete against each other at up to 4 computers at once. I highly recommend:

If 4 players wasn’t enough, 8 players at once in Tug-of-War Comparing Fractions. We put it up on the overhead projector and I had a whole class of 8th graders interested in reviewing their equivalent fractions:

Five Days of Mail?

February 8, 2009

United States Postal Service thinks about cutting service and Hooda Math has written three word problems to challenge your students. They are for primary, intermediate, and middle school students. The problems are subtracting whole numbers, subtracting decimals, and finding percentage increase.
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Buy a Pin and show your support.

January 12, 2009

Buy a pin and help advertise our site.

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Division Word Problems – Strategy: Guess and Check

November 20, 2008

This is very similar to the other Lessons I have posted. To make it Guess and Check have the students start by guessing how many pizzas per classroom and then making circles for classroom and filling in the dots and counting the dots to adjust their guesses. I’ll post a more detailed lesson plan when I get a chance.

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Multiplication Word Problems – Strategy: Using Tables

October 20, 2008

Lesson Plan for Multiplication Word Problems – Strategy: Using Tables

A. Class Discussion with Overhead Projector. – Do Problem 1 together.

  1. Draw 5 circles and the 7 dots inside. -Students are to Count up dots.
  2. Write out addition equation. 7+7+7+7+7 = 5
  3. Draw a table with labels: “Bags of Rice” on left, and “Dollars” on right.
  4. Multiplication Equation. 5 * 7 = 35
  5. Sentence: Five groups of seven.

B. Students work on problem 2 at their tables – Must do all 5 parts similar to problem 1.

C. Students are to write their own multiplication word problem.

  1. They may use the little square to draw in to help with creativity.
  2. Write word problem.
  3. Two Rules:
  • It must end in a question.
  • It must be solvable using a table.

D. When finished trade with friend, who must use a table to solve.

click to download the worksheet:

multiplication-drawing