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Friday, September 5, 2014

Fun and Free Math Computer Games: Alien Angles

I use many computer games with my grades 4-6 students.  I have shown you a few factoring games, games for practicing basic facts, and games from the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives.  There are many other games I use with this age group and today I want to tell you about one of my favorite games to use during our geometry unit.

Alien angles is a game from math playground that is quick to play but gives kids some great experience with angles.  I want kids to have a good sense of the reasonableness of their answer when measuring angles and this game really helps develop this idea.  

Students are given a target angle and try to set that angle without the aid of a protractor.  When I introduce this game on the SMART board or projector, we talk about benchmark angles such as 0, 45. 90, 135 and 180 and how they can help us estimate other angles.  
Students are given an angle to make
When you launch the game you will be given an angle to make.  Click on the small blue circle in the bottom right hand corner to set the angle.  When you click check it, a protractor will appear along with the actual angle.

If you are within 5 degrees, you rescue the alien and get a point.  A full game consists of 10 rounds like this.  I find that kids (and adults!) usually do quite poorly the first time they play this game but usually start figuring it out as the first game ends.  It is fun and motivating though and most kids want to play again right away.  It really helps kids think about the math behind angle measuring rather than just doing it.  

Have you tried Alien Angles with your class?  What are you favorite computer games for geometry concepts? 

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