Selma Middle School recently transformed its hallways into an arcade for an interactive math lesson for fifth-graders.
Students in Shannon Snipes and Brandon Sullivan’s fifth-grade math classes built the arcade games using cardboard and household supplies.
“The kids absolutely loved the cardboard arcade project,” Snipes said. “It gave them a chance to engage in hands-on activities for mathematics, and they learn so much better that way.”
Snipes and Sullivan challenged their students to invent or re-create classic arcade games while incorporating a math lesson to teach their fellow classmates.
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All of the math used in the arcade was part of the fifth-grade curriculum, Snipes said. Students could win tickets at each game to claim prizes.
“The kids loved interacting with their peers and explaining how the math worked,” Snipes said. “They’re little mathematicians and engineers, and they engineered these games. I think that’s what they loved most about all of this.”
Students from around the school spent a day playing the arcade games and learning math lessons.
“This is hands-on interaction, but it’s also peer engagement,” Snipes said. “Sometimes students can reach their peers better than teachers can reach them. It’s great to have the peer interaction incorporated so that it can solidify the learning.”
The arcade featured classic games like whack-a-mole and skee ball. In another game, called “Order Up,” students answered multiplication questions using a grill and cheeseburgers made of cardboard.
Snipes said it is important for students to learn this way because this is how they will work as they get older and enter the workforce.
“It’s important for them to learn how to use and develop these skills right now and be mathematicians of the future,” she said.