All of these skills are ones that can help students not only in math, but also, in life. Dewar goes on to say that, in addition to games being a less stressful way to learn math, having a teacher to guide and moderate is doubly beneficial.
"A teacher that is aware of brain research can guide students' thinking. Students can be made aware of their own tactics and consider why these tactics work (or fail to work). Many players may fail to make these breakthroughs on their own. Studies show that kids learn more when they attempt to explain their reasoning processes. Perhaps, then, kids will reap the most cognitive benefits when board games are part of a general program for teaching math, logic, and critical thinking skills." (Dewar, 2009)
Why it works
What parents are saying:
"My son found he could function with math. Two 6-week sessions got him over this fear block of anything math."
“My daughter knows her math facts but becomes overwhelmed when there is a time crunch. As a result, she often gets frustrated and has said that she hates math! However, she’s been having a great time in Math Gamers, and we appreciate the opportunity for her to have FUN with math."
What students are saying:
“My favorite game so far is ‘Flip It,’ the coin toss game!”
“It was fun! I liked ‘Multiplying Basketballs’ the best!”
When students realize that math can be fun, their anxiety lessens, and they can more readily open themselves up to learning, even if the concepts/skills have been confusing before.
When students who already love math are presented with opportunities to play games with it, their interest is enriched, and their need to do something that makes them happy is satisfied.
Furthermore, Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., founder and author of ParentingScience.com, states that many board games encourage students to:
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Think Math Isn't Fun? Think Again!!