Math Snacks: Using Animations and Games to Fill the Gaps in Mathematics

Alfred Valdez, Karen Trujillo, Karin Wiburg


Math Snacks animations and support materials were developed for use on the web and mobile technologies to teachratio, proportion, scale factor, and number line concepts using a multi-modal approach. Included in Math Snacks are:Animations which promote the visualization of a concept image; written lessons which provide cognitive complexityfor understanding; and active, situated learning activities to facilitate memorable experiences to deepencomprehension. This pilot study compared pre-post test gains for 460 sixth and seventh grade students enrolled innine different classrooms. In five of the nine classrooms, teachers utilized the Teacher Guide that corresponded withthe five Math Snacks animations and one game and in four classrooms teachers used the same Math Snacksanimations and one game, but were free to develop their own lessons using available online resources. Resultsshowed moderate and significant pre-post test gains for all six grade students. However, significant gains for seventhgrade students were shown only for classrooms where the teacher Guide was used. While it appears that the use ofTeacher Guide is useful only for seventh grade, such a conclusion is premature given the small number of classroomsand the exploratory nature of this investigation. Further analyses of moderator variables (e.g., instructional fidelity,learner characteristics) are certainly necessary.

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Copyright (c) 2013 Alfred Valdez, Karen Trujillo, Karin Wiburg

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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