Journal/Book/Conference Title Title
Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics Journal
I am fortunate. I teach from Investigations in Number, Data, and Space [TERC] (1996), a standards-based elementary mathematics curriculum. My evolution from teaching in a traditional teacher-centered approach to one that supports a student-centered community of learners has been a slow and gradual process during the past six years of teaching. Fortunately, through experience, professional development, and graduate level courses, I have come to appreciate the conceptual understanding students acquire from learning mathematics via a student-centered approach and how playing games is an effective instructional strategy for learning mathematics. As intended by the authors of Investigations and envisioned by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM] (2000), mathematical games foster communication as students explain and justify during play, as well as are motivating and engaging for students as they think about and apply mathematics concepts and skills (Lach & Sakshaug, 2005). Moreover, good games create opportunities for students to explore mathematical ideas (Olson, 2007) and are fun as well as educational (Hildebrandt, 1998) and provide the opportunity for me to structure lessons and activities that meet the needs of individual students and promote communication. If you value mathematics practice and view it as a worthwhile activity, you may want to incorporate games as part of your mathematics lessons.
Department of Mathematics
Original Publication Date
UNI ScholarWorks, University of Northern Iowa, Rod Library
© 2007 Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The copyright holder has granted permission for posting.
Carnahan, Michele and Stevens, Bridgette, "Playing Games to Build Understanding" (2007). Faculty Publications. 4.
First published in Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics Journal, v. 34 (2007), pp. 4-10, published by Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics