Math Gym — Improve Math Skills the Fun and Effective Way

Math Gym logo

http://www.themathgym.com/ and www.amoebamath.com

Amoeba Math and the Math Gym board game, make learning, practicing and understanding math entertaining and non-intimidating for kids (and adults) of all ages and skill levels.

Amoeba Math, a computer game, does not teach concepts, but reinforces the memorization of math facts by presenting various types and difficulties of math problems. Players use their keyboard arrows to navigate a stick man through a maze-like environment and try to avoid obstacles, collect points and defeat enemies. The enemies are amoebae (hence the name) and other microbes that drain the player’s health meter. In order to defeat the enemies, the player must throw erasers by them using the ASDW keys; when an enemy is destroyed, a math problem with a timer pops up. In order to continue playing, the player must type the answer. Depending on skill level and the options chosen at the beginning of the game, problems may include addition, subtraction, multiplication division and negative numbers.

This is an amusing and potentially exciting game; younger players will enjoy the silly graphics, while older players will appreciate the challenge that comes with trying to solve a math problem while simultaneously dealing with increasingly aggressive and numerous microbes. The math problems themselves as well as other critical elements of gameplay are randomized, so no level is ever the same twice.

While Amoeba Math is a great reinforcing tool for solo players, the Math Gym board game can be played by multiple players and can actually help teach and demonstrate concepts like negative numbers, variables, order of operations and powers. The goal is to be the first player to collect a pre-determined amount of money. Money is gathered by landing on spaces that automatically award money and by solving word problems (known as “workouts”). Players can move backwards or forwards to their desired space by building, and correctly solving, a math problem. The answer to the problem is the number of spaces moved. These problems are built with tiles, much like words are built with Scrabble tiles. Tiles include positive and negative integers, signs, variables and parentheses. Depending on a player’s ability, problems can get pretty complicated, but very young and math-challenged players can play right alongside more advanced students. Word problems are drawn from decks that are available in several levels, from simple addition and subtraction to questions involving multiple steps to solve.

By using the linear format and asking players to move their tokens in a systematic fashion, one operation at a time, the Math Gym game visually teaches how math concepts work. With its simple concept and customizable challenge levels, this game should appeal to math students from kindergarten to Algebra I.

Fittingly, the makers of Amoeba Math and Math Gym have put exhaustive research into making their games. The format and content of each game are based on studies of brain function, neuroplasticity and learning. They have even performed studies themselves to test the effectiveness of the games, and the results show that the games really are more than just games; they are powerful teaching tools that any student can benefit from.

Visit www.themathgym.com and www.amoebamath.com for more information and for a free trial of online versions of both games. Also, be sure to check out the “Experience” and “Science Behind Amoeba Math” sections on the respective websites to see the scientific research behind each game and studies of the results of playing them.

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