My previous experience with video games is pretty above average. I grew up with an older, and younger brother both of whom have an expert level of experience with playing video games. Thus, I was introduced to many of them myself. I was introduced to and would play with them Mario Cart, Super Smash Bros, Mario Party, Black Ops 2, Red Dead Redemption, and just about every Pokemon game ever made. Along with playing games with my brothers I would play some games with my friends like the Sims, Just Dance, and other random online games just about every kid loved playing. I have always felt pretty comfortable learning how to play games and jumping right it, in fact I can’t even remember the last time I actually read the directions for a video game. With my extensive experience of always being around them, I know that there is only so many buttons you can press and eventually one of them will do what you want it to.
The game I decided to play for this project is on coolmathgames.com and it is a numbers based game called Nambers. It is a very strategic game and is quite difficult to play if you don’t read the instructions, like me. At first I was getting lucky by clicking the correct squares to change, however, as the levels progressed I had to actually figure out how to play the game correctly. The game gives you x amount of boxes (depending on the level) all with a variety of numbers (1-9) in each box, and then you have a smaller box below it that shows you what numbers you want in your big box. Meaning, you have to click on your big boxes and either increase it by selecting it and sliding your mouse right, or decrease it by sliding your mouse left. The trick is that you can only change the number 2 if you have two 2’s or the number 3 if you have three 3’s and so on. This small fact is something I did not figure out I had to do until about level 5 when things stopped being so basic that it was your only option to select two 2’s or three 3’s and so on. Below are two screen shots, one from level two and one from level five. In level two you can see that you have three squares with the number three and one with the number two. By looking down at the small box you can see that you want all of the squares to be the number 2. Thus, I clicked on the three squares and moved my mouse to the left so that they would decrease. However, once I got to level five there was suddenly more than just three 3’s and they only gave me three 5’s. This level took a little work but once I figured out the rules it became pretty simple. To pass this level I had to change the top three 3’s to fives by selecting and swiping, and then change the two 2’s to threes, and finally select the three 3’s I now had and change those to 5’s. I’m very excited to continue playing this game to improve my problem solving skills and critical thinking!
In the Gee reading he said something that really stuck out to me today while I was talking to my corroborating teacher. He said that,“not exploring, updating, and reinventing our teaching strategies can cause us to miss valuable opportunities to reach students” (Gee, 19). My cooperating teacher today was just showing me how she was designing a Google classroom for next year and even slowly moving her students for this year on to doing things online. She told me how she fully believes in updating her teaching methods in order to use her resources to the fullest, and really get her students excited to learn. Through my years of observation I have seen many different types of teaching styles and classroom dynamics, however, the one thing that has remained pretty constant is the students excitement to work on things with laptops or iPads or chrome books. It truly makes them feel like they are doing something fun and they understand it. Teachers should always be updating how they teach and technology is a really big part of todays society that teachers need to be ready to introduce to their students. It’s also an amazing resource for them that can truly change the way they teach.