A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about ratio, proportion, rate, scale (including some measurement), large-number place value, fractions, decimals, numbers as locations on a number line, basic coordinate graphing pairs, plotting, and four quadrants. Lessons on ratio and proportion are particularly strong and clear via multiple videos and games. Learner's Guides promote problem solving and offer open-ended scenarios, but some also can confuse. Math Snacks elucidates concepts through great visuals and entertaining story lines.
Math Snacks presents some material that's meant for kids who don't like math in hopes of alleviating some of their fear.
Violence & Scariness
There's a tiny bit of dark, goth-y stuff (such as vampires), but it's pretty tame.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Math Snacks is a small but clever collection of math videos and games covering elementary school concepts with accompanying teacher and student materials. Developed by the New Mexico State University Learning Games Lab, the content is meant to appeal to kids who don't even like math, giving them a new way to look at concepts. Six videos and five games, plus three overlapping iOS apps, are free and well executed, hip and humorous, and reminiscent of the classic Schoolhouse Rock! series. Spanish-language versions of each game, leaner guide, animation, and comic book transcript are available.
Is It Any Good?
All kids will dig Math Snacks' exciting and clever animations, but kids struggling with middle school math concepts will benefit, especially by absorbing concepts with ease through playful, in-the-know humor. Topics focus on ratio, proportion, rate, and scale (including measurement) and less so on coordinate graphing, fractions, and decimals. Parents might want to print out the accompanying Learner's Guides, but kids will absorb a lot without them as well. The main animation focusing on measurement and conversion, "Overruled!", is a bit weaker math-wise than the others, but quality overall is outstanding. Two of the games and the video collection are available as iOS apps as well.
Extensions and resources are numerous but sometimes a bit difficult to locate in numerous layers. Game levels ramp up slowly yet steadily, meaning that challenge is always present but tasks are never overly difficult or impossible. Overall, Math Snacks is a welcome addition to the accessible math pantheon.
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