Relative Advantage of Gaming in School

When I think of gaming, I think about setting up my old Nintendo to play the original Mario Brothers or using the old Microsoft computer in school to play Number Munchers during a break in keyboarding.  However, technology has grown quite a bit since 1997.

Thanks to the Internet, technological advances and the creativity of software engineers, students can play games either single or multiplayer with children throughout the world, both at home and at school.  Sites such as Khan Academy or Cool Math Games  could be incorporated into the class curriculum to enhance 3rd Grade Mathematics.

According to Rutherford, “Games give students opportunities to explore fundamental number concepts, such as the counting sequence, one-to-one correspondence, and computation strategies. Engaging mathematical games can also encourage students to explore number combinations, place value, patterns, and other important mathematical concepts. Further, they afford opportunities for students to deepen their mathematical understanding and reasoning” (2015).

Additionally, gaming in school motivates students to learn.  It encourages strategic mathematical thinking and supports computational fluency. It enhances drill & practice, while making assessment and curriculum adjustment more precise for the teacher.  Last, parents can partake in their children’s Math education at home, encouraging extra practice.


Rutherofrd, k. (2015). Why play math games?. VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).


3 thoughts on “Relative Advantage of Gaming in School

  1. Hi, Gail- I enjoyed reading your post, particularly due to the fact that we are both math teachers! It was interesting to read your viewpoints regarding elementary students. Many of your ideas align with mine for junior high students. I appreciate that you mentioned how helpful online math games can be for at-home help and practice. I mentioned the Math Playground and Math-Play websites within my blog post, but wanted to ask you if you had any other ideas regarding math game websites that you recommend. I have also used Kahoot and enjoy that site as well. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks for your post!


    1. Hello Claire,
      I am unfortunately not teaching math to youngsters now, but hope to be after I complete my MET. 🙂
      In Kuna, Id, they use Khan Academy, abcya, reading eggs and a few other well-known sites. Recently, I worked as an ERR Para, mainly with K students, and the teacher used the smart board quite a bit for all subjects to pull the class together and encourage taking turns, listening and participation. For Math though, she had large # 1-9 cut out and laminated on the wall, and they would discuss the diffrent ways to make the #, like with a ten frame or pictures of things, etc. I think that could definetely be transferred to the smart board.


  2. At my previous district I provided math tutoring in our elementary after school program and we would have the kids practice their multiplication tables using an app called math vs zombies and they absolutely loved it. It was funny because kids who typically couldn’t do multiplication were pretty good at it when they were playing the game. Like you mentioned though, games motivate kids to learn. They didn’t care about math as just numbers but when it helped them win the game they were much more engaged. Great post!

    Mark Harmon


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