New Year, New Game, New Approach to Teaching Geometry
I recently had the pleasure of using the game Land of Venn in my math classes. As someone who has had the experience of teaching every single grade ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade, I love any type of technology that has this versatility. It can be used with a range of ages and groups. Land of Venn can be used in an elementary, middle school, or high school educational setting. I used Land of Venn with gifted and talented students, special education students, and general education students and it was a hit with all of these crowds.
What is Land of Venn – Let Me Help You Follow the Plot
The Land of Venn is under attack and the students can only save the Land by creating a series of shapes. So the game sneakily introduces the student to a series of academic math vocabulary words as they create shapes such as straight lines, quadrilaterals, and triangles to eliminate the Bookkenriders before they drink all of the magic juice. As the child moves through the levels of the game they get exposure to more geometric concepts and they gain access to more powerful wisdom and spells.
Warning: Using this Game Will Result in High Levels of Student Engagement
Those of you who are fans of this blog know that I like to emphasize the power of play. Land of Venn takes a great approach to learning that supports student metacognition. It takes a unique pedagogical approach which combines two theories behind the teaching of math education. The first of these is Van Hiele’s Level of Geometric Thought which targets the high levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy by requiring that the child analyze the shapes as opposed to just remembering or recalling them. The students will understand the hierarchy between the shapes instead of being locked into remedial patterns. The second theory behind this game is the notion of “Gameducation” where the learner is not passive but actively engaging in the content. The student is so engaged in the game that they have the chance to practice the principles of geometry with intense focus and repetition as they analyze and apply them in a constantly changing situation.
Common Core Aligned
Since I am now moving into a new role as a Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, I like to look for games that are aligned to the Common Core. When I present new tools to teachers they like to see which standards the learning tool is aligned with. So with this game I can model for teachers how it fits in with their lesson and unit plans. This particular game is aligned with the following Common Core Standards:
|1.G: Reason With Shapes And Their Attributes.|
|1.G.1||Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.|
|2.G: Reason With Shapes And Their Attributes.|
|2.G.1||Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces.5 Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.|
|3.G: Reason With Shapes And Their Attributes.|
|3.G.1||Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.|
|4.G: Draw And Identify Lines And Angles, And Classify Shapes By Properties Of Their Lines And Angles.|
Call to Action
Whether you are a math teacher, school administrator, or parent I would recommend trying this game in your learning ecosystem – or at home with your own family. The truest compliment children can pay to a game is that they never want to stop playing with it and that was the case with the Land of Venn.
Here is a link to the game: