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At Brooklyn’s Intermediate School 318, Chess is King

If you had walked into Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn early last week, you would have heard a loud roar coming from the classrooms. You might have thought it was pep-rally for the school’s football team, or something like that. However, if you had walked into the classroom where the most noise was coming from, you would have seen that instead of cheerleaders and a marching band, it was six high-speed chess matches that were making all of the ruckus. At Intermediate School 318, chess is serious business. Why, you might ask? Because this middle school is the winner of the United States Chess Federation’s national high school championship.

On April 8, 2012, I. S. 318’s chess team – which is composed of mostly 8th grade students – traveled to Minneapolis to compete in the tournament against high schools that are notoriously good at the game. They won the tournament, which is great for them, but it is far from being their first major win. In every stairwell at I. S. 318, you can find a chess trophy from various tournaments. The kids are good. Read the rest of this entry »



Motion Math Zoom Helps Children Learn Basic Math Skills

When my mom first introduced me to numbers with decimal points, I was overwhelmed. “What is a thousandth? Shouldn’t it be bigger than a hundredth? Argh!!!!” Finally, my mom made a number line that helped me understand where the numbers belonged and everything started to make sense.

Fast forward twenty years or so and the hand-drawn number line of my childhood is being replaced with a much more interactive and fun way for kids to learn numbers and their place value: Motion Math Zoom.

Motion Math Zoom features an interactive time line that is illustrated by animals to help children learn basic math skills. For example, when students are learning about very small decimals, the numbers are represented by amoebas. Slightly larger whole numbers are represented by animals like ants and frogs, while really big numbers, like thousands, are represented by dinosaurs.

“It’s what you want to do, but also helps you learn,” said one child who has played the game.

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Become a Superhero and Learn Math with the Numbers League

For most young kids, superheroes are cool. Math is not cool. If only math were fun and could save the city from bad guys. Well the Numbers League app for iPads has used superhero powers to make basic math problems fun and entertaining, while also teaching children basic math skills.

The Numbers League game takes place in Infinity City, a futuristic world where bad guys lurk and the only force strong enough to stop them is the Numbers League. This team of superheroes uses the sum of their powers and strengths to fight the bad guys in a way that children are sure to enjoy. Parents can also get in on the fun because Numbers League allows up to four players to play at the same time.

Numbers League has three difficulty levels: simple addition, complex addition and basic subtraction, and negative numbers and simple multiplication. The different levels make it possible for both a five-year old child and a teenager to improve their math skills while still having fun.

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Fun Math App for iPhone: Digit Defenders

digit defenders iphoneR.Cloud Software has just released Digit Defenders – now available for you to download at the iTunes app store. Digit Defenders is an entertaining game of falling math problems, while still an educational tool for sharpening math skills. The object is to answer problems correctly before they fall off the screen. Players begin with basic arithmetic skills and work their way up to algebraic linear equations and college level quadratics.

Players of all ages can challenge their mental math skills from a preschool to college level. Even the quickest math whiz will be challenged, testing his speed and accuracy on the most difficult setting, as this unique yet educational iPhone game has very advanced math content for teens and 20-something college kids. However, if you are someone who simply wants to brush up on your math, the normal difficulty setting is ideal. Levels include simple counting, elementary and advanced arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, and number base conversion. Read the rest of this entry »





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