Students love Live Mathletics, so why not use the motivation it produces to promote student learning?
Daily Mental: Live Mathletics is often used as a reward for good work, but many schools are also using it to focus their students on mathematics. These schools start the lesson with Live Mathletics, resulting in students thinking and talking mathematics immediately, and starting the class motivated and mentally warmed up for the lesson ahead.
Mental Strategy Development: Rather than allowing students free reign of Live Mathletics, many teachers also use it to introduce and experiment with a range of Mental Mathematics Strategies. For Example, the teacher wishes to introduce the concept of partitioning. After several examples like,
5 + 9 = (5 + 5) + 4
= 10 + 4
students are challenged to answer the Live Mathletics questions using only partitioning.
Mental vs Calculator: Let students see the advantage of working out answers in their head compared to using a calculator. Have students play alternate games of Live Mathletics. One game they must calculate all answers in their heads. The other game they must calculate all answers with a Calculator. Which do they get the best results for?
The Statistics Lesson: Students play a number of games of Live Mathletics, recording their results. They can then work out a range of statistics, such as mean, mode, median, range etc, for their own scores, as well as the classes.
Just 1 Better: To promote student participation in harder levels, point out students receive more credits for beating their highest score. So choose a level the student hasn’t played and give them the task of spending as much time as needed to get 1 correct. They receive a reward for beating their last highest score of 0.
Then have the student spend as much time as needed to get 2 correct, then 3 and so on. The student is able to earn more credits initially, but their target number is steadily increasing.
100%: This aims to minimise careless errors. Challenge the students to play Live Mathletics but maintain 100% accuracy. Students should take as much time as needed for each question and make sure they get it correct. As their confidence builds introduce a target number of correct questions, usually 1 higher than their last highest 100% score.
Question Dissection: The teacher takes a note of the live questions their students struggle with. Then in an offline time in class the teacher puts a selection of the difficult ones up on the board.
Students work solo, in pairs or groups – with or without calculators – and come up with detailed instructions, line by line, of how to mentally solve the problems.
The teacher then facilitates a sharing session so all the different techniques are available to the whole class and they are encouraged to try the techniques next time they use Live Mathletics.
This is a good way to encourage students to move on to harder levels as the harder questions have been ‘pulled apart’ in class before-hand.
And Some Fun things to do with Live Mathletics
The Class/School Competition: With the ability for students to directly challenge each other, it is very easy to set up a class competition. Keep a class grid. Ensure all students play each other and record scores or wins/loses.