Mrs. Smeltz's Story

Mrs. Smeltz's Class

My class has been working on addition facts to 15 for several weeks with quizzes given three out of every four days - 90 seconds to complete 30 addition problems. Our goal is 80% or higher.

The kids seemed to be kind of "stuck in a rut" and not making much progress. As second grade teachers, we decided at our bi-weekly grade level meeting to make it a goal to improve those scores, and we brainstormed ways to do it. I began to look around and found your site - just what I was looking for - basic repeated practice of the addition facts in a fun, exciting way!

I introduced Jet Ski Addition to the class using a projector and got the children excited about trying the game. Then I bookmarked the site on our classroom computers. The children could hardly wait for their turn.

We decided to add our class room number after our "secret names", so that we would know when someone from our classroom was playing. We couldn't keep this exciting game to ourselves, so we shared it with the other second grade classrooms in our building. They could use their names followed by their own classroom numbers and then we could play other kids from our school. Suddenly indoor recess became an exciting Jet Ski race across the hall!

Many of the students play video games all the time at home. This was a way to let them enjoy their playing time, but to practice a skill at the same time. Many of the parents commented on how excited they were that their children were practicing their facts! It was very exciting to see the kids wanting to practice those facts in a friendly, competitive way.

Here are the results:
Before playing the games, on Feb. 19, 14 out of 24 students passed with 80% or higher, 9 had 100%. After playing the games, on Feb. 29, 20 out of 24 students passed with 80% or higher, 14 had 100%.

One student went from a score of 63% to 100%. Two from 77% to 90%. A student went from 57% - 73% and is excited to go home every day to play the game! The children were very excited to see how their scores had gone up! (They keep track on their own chart).

I am of course thrilled with that improvement of scores! I am sure that much of the improvement is due to the fact that many of the children played Jet Ski Addition. I would be very happy to have you share this story on your site.

- Mrs. Smeltz

  • When I've done flash cards, they aren't in to it. This is more fun and colorful for them. I can tell they are wanting to learn their facts faster as a challenge.
  • Aligning the joy of gaming with practicing math transforms the experience and invites students to learn in an environment they are comfortable with.
  • Many of the students play video games all the time at home. This was a way to let them enjoy their playing time but to practice a skill at the same time.
  • The math games have improved the student's grades in timed tests and have boosted the student's confidence in their math abilities.
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