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All New ST Math Games: Avoiding Chocolate Covered Broccoli

The best part of a new school year is the fresh start that comes with it. Here at MIND, we're excited to share substantial updates to our ST Math program, including even more content coverage. Ever wonder how ST Math games are created? Here are insights from Ki Karou, our Senior Director of Product for ST Math, on the creation process for the 13 new games incorporated into grades 3-5 this school year.

Ki Karou Answers Questions About New Games_2

Finding The Sweet Spot

It's no secret that teaching/learning math can seem daunting to the vast majority at virtually any age. One of the biggest reasons for that is often the lackluster, or black and white, way math has seemingly always existed in education. Here at MIND we mean to do more than expect students to be interested simply because we're presenting math in game form.

There's this thing in the game design world known as chocolate covered broccoli, which is what happens when you try to take a game idea or mechanic, and then just layer it over some type of math topic. What we do is the exact opposite. We try to find that sweet spot of discovering the intended educational area and finding a way to interact with it that is game-like. 

Ki Karou, Senior Director of Product Content

As an educator, seeing students look forward to a particular subject because their confidence has been raised is what you strive for. Our product team is constantly keeping the idea of building that deeper conceptual understanding at the forefront, knowing very well that alone is what leads to said confidence.

The Game Design Process

The first, and most fundamental, part of developing new games is establishing: How is this serving the learning objective? Once that question is answered you can start to work your way back and look to build out a new game from scratch.

Addressing key standards is certainly a must, but it's important to consider feedback from users of a program in order to genuinely look to make improvements. Ki explained, "when the initial game is in conception it's important to ask if the visual concepts that you're trying to teach make sense. Then at the later stage, once the game is built, we work with teachers and students to build out a sequence, see how they play through them, and then make adjustments as needed." 

 

Taste Of What's To Come

We're constantly making updates to ST Math in more ways than just gameplay. Whilst students may not care about things like our new Customizable Educator Console, or Embedded Support, they're just as fundamental as new puzzle additions. What's truly exciting is how frequently our users can begin to expect updates from us, and just how much is coming. Ki put it quite simply saying:

We're going to be releasing a ton of new games next year. This should be a preview of coming attractions....next year's going to be a BANG! We're constantly improving and innovating ST Math.

Ki Karou, Senior Director of Product Content

Game Breakdown

We encourage you to try a sample of our new games down below. Simply click on the image and enjoy actual demos of games that currently exist within our school subscription.

Grade 3 - Comparing Fractions

Equivalent Fractions

Help JiJi walk the line generating equivalent fractions using visual fraction models.

Equivalent Fractions Stacker (New Games)

Play This Game

Grade 3 - Volume and Weight

Arctic Volume Addition and Subtraction

Arctic Volume Multiplication and Division

Solve one-step addition and subtraction problems involving liquid volumes using beakers with a measurement scale and help JiJi cross the ice.

Arctic Volume Multiplication (New Games)

Play This Game

Grade 4 - Multiplication as Comparison

Comparison Bridge Estimation

Comparison Bridge

Comparison Bridge Symbolic

Use estimation to solve multiplicative or additive comparison problems. Differentiate between multiplicative and additive comparisons to get JiJi across the bridge.

Comparison Bridge (New Games)

Play This Game

Grade 4 - Patterns in Number and Shape

Pattern Machine

Pattern Machine Advanced

Generate numerical patterns on the number line by finding consecutive terms....JiJi believes in you!

Pattern Machine (New Games)

Play This Game

Grade 4 - Angles and Triangles

Measuring Angles

JiJi needs your help to measure angles using a protractor and sketch angles of specified measure.

Measuring Angles (New Games)

Play This Game

Further Reading:

Matt Kennedy

About the Author

Matt Kennedy is the Marketing Specialist at MIND Research Institute. He is passionate about story telling and seeing students grow beyond what they thought possible. A Dallas native, and former athlete, he's learning everything he can as a newer member to the MIND team.

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