This article in the Orange County Register is an inspiring story about a man named Matthew Peterson who has created a series of educational computer games that teach elementary school children math skills. In the games, students use math concepts to help an animated penguin named Jiji overcome obstacles--like filling a ditch, building a bridge, or crossing a river, according to the article. The games rely on spatial-temporal reasoning, and do not require the use of language skills, making them a good fit for ESL students.
So far, the schools that use the computer games have made significant strides in raising math scores. One school went from having 26 percent of its students proficient in math to 70 percent proficient. In addition, the school’s principal says, “If you ask any child in my school what their favorite subject is, they will say math.”
That’s a pretty incredible statement coming from any school’s principal, let alone one that a few year’s previous was struggling so much with the subject.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.