There’s no denying that children are motivated by game-like concepts. Reward points and competition, even if the competition is just against oneself, is highly motivating to children today. The fact that video games are almost everywhere adds to the appeal of gaming systems and game-like play in the educational setting. Here’s how you can incorporate video games or game-like play (a.k.a. gamification) into your home to help reinforce the 6th grade math problems they are learning in school.
First, you need to understand why math video games and game-like systems can work. These systems work because they are highly motivating. The years spent playing video game systems, computer games and tablets have taught children to respond to the reward of points and the motivation of competition. The end result is a practice opportunity that your child looks forward to, so you rarely have to push him/her to work on his 6th grade math problems when using gamification.
To get the most benefit out of video games or other game-like programs for math practice, you must choose wisely. Some programs offer practice of basic math facts, and little more. This can be valuable, but if you want to see your children learn how to think through 6th grade math problems, you want to find a program that actually teaches math concepts and helps children think through math. Also, it is important to find a program that is aligned to your child’s curriculum or the current national math standards for that grade level. This will be far more effective in the long run at helping your child learn math.
In addition, you have to look at how the program motivates them. Kids get enough worksheet practice at school, and perhaps too much of it, and they need something different at home. Look for a program that uses the elements of gamification to motivate your child. For example, Thinkster offers rewards points that can be exchanged for badges and gift cards, and this creates a sense of achievement that reinforces the learning that is built into the program.
Thinkster offers all of these benefits. With Thinkster, your child gets to work with certified instructors through individualized learning, benefiting from instruction at the point of learning and personalized lesson plans. The iPad app also offers reward points, giving the feel of a video game-like program and offering the incentive that today’s kids crave. This combines to make it an effective way to teach and reinforce 6th grade math problems at home.
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