5 Games for Learning Algebra

Here are five games that can help with teaching algebra to students… (for my friend Michelle)

1) One of my favorites is DragonBox. It is a multi-platform game that starts out as a card game and then morphs into teaching algebra. Easy to play, easy to get started and does a wonderful job of teaching the fundamental concepts of algebra. The game was voted world’s best serious game at the International Mobile Gaming Awards(IMGA).

And during a Washington State Algebra Challenge, it took on average 41 minutes and 44 seconds for students to master Algebra skills using this game.

2) If you want more of a classroom game, check out Cool Math’s Survivor Algebra. The game is like the TV show survivor. You set up tribes, challenges and then let the students do algebra. The Cool Math web site contains a complete set of rules and walks you step-by-step through the process. A great non-digital game.

3) Applying Algebra to real-life is sometimes tricky. Over at Edheads.org, they’ve created a great real-world application with their simulation of a crash scene called Crash Scene Investigation. In this activity, you must figure out what car caused the accident by calculating estimated speed and estimating forces. It is about a 70 minute activity but can encompass many algebra-related concepts.

4) The company DimensionU has a number of math and algebra games based on a first-person “thinker” experience. One of the games is a single player game where a bio-digital virus has been released on a remote island and threatens to infect the world’s eco-system and destroy mankind. The learner has to join forces in a race to disengage the virus and restore the island to its natural environment.

Here is a video.

5) Western Illinois has gathered a few games to help teach algebra at their site Algebra Online Math Games Mostly a collection of quick short games focused on a specific concept in algebra. Very helpful.

Bonus: Khan Academy has badges and gamification for learning Algebra and other subjects and earn badges as you go and demonstrating master and knowledge of basic to more advanced concepts. Here is a link to the algebra section of Kahn Academy.

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Karl Kapp
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