Digital games lessons
Here are three activities to get you using games (or serious games) to help your students build and practice mathematical thinking through games. The learning activities include are mostly tablet (iPad) based and two out of three require prepurchase. Unfortunately like many products in the digital space, particularly games, if you want high quality and sound educational thinking behind the app, you need to pay for it (IMHO).
The format of the directions is up to you, just follow the basic activity procedures outlined below.
Lesson title: A review of fractions
Introduction: These three lesson activities use a series of three different games to practice and review students knowledge of simplifying fractions, ordering fractions and working with fractions in general.
Content area: Number and fractions
Grade / Age level: Year 68 or age 1113 years old
The format of the directions is up to you, just follow the basic activity procedures outlined below.
Lesson title: A review of fractions
Introduction: These three lesson activities use a series of three different games to practice and review students knowledge of simplifying fractions, ordering fractions and working with fractions in general.
Content area: Number and fractions
Grade / Age level: Year 68 or age 1113 years old
Activity 1  Lesson Starter Game  Bingo Fractions.
Objective: Students should be able to simplify fractions and recognise equivalent fractions.
Materials: Internet connection and access to a laptop or projector. Access to the site http://mathsstarters.net/
Activity: Using this teacher built digital resource start the lesson with this game  Bingo. This could be a revision fractions lesson or during the teaching unit of work on fractions itself.
Steps:
Objective: Students should be able to simplify fractions and recognise equivalent fractions.
Materials: Internet connection and access to a laptop or projector. Access to the site http://mathsstarters.net/
Activity: Using this teacher built digital resource start the lesson with this game  Bingo. This could be a revision fractions lesson or during the teaching unit of work on fractions itself.
Steps:
 Select the BINGO game from the site and then choose fractions from the list. (Note: This game could be used in any other topic area listed so remember that!)
 Have students draw up a grid in their books and select 9 fractions from the ones below displayed on the screen / projector.
 Start the game and have students simplify the given fraction and then mark of the corresponding solution on their fraction grid (if they can!)
 Award a prize or points to first three to finish.
 Knowing how much your students will love this game you could also run the activity in small groups and have a knock out competition over a series of lessons. As long as the prize is exciting enough (an iceblock or icecream from the tuckshop should do!) they’ll keep playing over and over again.
Activity 2  ordering fractions
Objective: Students should be able to place and order fractions on a number line.
Materials: Internet connection and access to an iPad (or tablet) and projector. The paid application Lobster Diver (by NM State University and Learning Games Lab: http://learninggameslab.org/). The app should be purchased before the lesson.
(Note: If the lesson needs to be demonstrated at no cost an online version can be accessed here: http://mathsnacks.com/pearl_diver_game_en.html)
Activity: If students each have the application or can get access then this could be done differently. These instructions are for playing the game as a group using the teachers iPad connected to a projector.
Steps:
Objective: Students should be able to place and order fractions on a number line.
Materials: Internet connection and access to an iPad (or tablet) and projector. The paid application Lobster Diver (by NM State University and Learning Games Lab: http://learninggameslab.org/). The app should be purchased before the lesson.
(Note: If the lesson needs to be demonstrated at no cost an online version can be accessed here: http://mathsnacks.com/pearl_diver_game_en.html)
Activity: If students each have the application or can get access then this could be done differently. These instructions are for playing the game as a group using the teachers iPad connected to a projector.
Steps:
 Launch the app and let students read through the instructions for game play. They are very simple and clear.
 Pass the iPad to your first student and stand behind them as they attempt the level. Remind them it is on a timer, see clock at top left and that they have to keep tapping at the bottom of the screen to open the lobster pod. The other common mistake is forgetting to slide the boat to the correct position before tapping the bottom of the screen.
 The game gets progressively more difficult with fractional number lines and this itself may create a knockout competition. Students who successfully get the group through an early level can remain in the game or choose to team up with someone who didn’t make it through a level and collaborate  two heads are often better than one!
 Lastly recreate the game in a simple written form by having students rule a 10cm line in their books and then mark on it a series of fractions of your choice (written on the board). Be sure to test that students have transferred the skill from the game to on paper.
Activity 3  understanding and review of fractions
Objective: Students should be able to identify, create, and operate with fractions. Materials: Internet connection and access to an iPad (or tablet) and projector. The paid application Slice Fractions (by UQAM and Ululab: http://ululab.com/ ). The app should be purchased before the lesson. Activity  If students each have the application or can get access then this could be done differently. “Free play” can be given with students then working out the “rules of the game”. This video illustrates its use if you have never seen the game before  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufcA7U4wXYA. 

Steps: However with a teacher only device and led from the front of the room, these steps are recommended:
 Launch the app and let the game take students through the instructions for game play. They are very simple and clear.
 Pass the iPad to your first student and stand behind them as they attempt the level.
Be patient, like most games it starts out relatively easy but starts to ramp up the difficulty quickly.  If a student is unable to complete a level simply pass it to the next student, everyone will want a turn.
 Progress as far as you can in the game and pause occasionally to ask students what are the fraction concepts in the game  how are the links being made. If students can articulate these connections then they are communicating their understanding effectively.
 Lastly recreate the game in a simple written form by having students complete a worksheet with a series of shapes that they must cut into different size fraction (written on the board). Be sure to test that students have transferred the skill from the game to on paper.
References
Math Snacks (2013). Teaching with Math Snacks. Retrieved from http://mathsnacks.com/teachingwith.html
New Mexico State University (2015). Learning Lab. Retrieved from http://learninggameslab.org/
Math Snacks (2013). Teaching with Math Snacks. Retrieved from http://mathsnacks.com/teachingwith.html
New Mexico State University (2015). Learning Lab. Retrieved from http://learninggameslab.org/