Interactive Noggle Game: Play a Round for Free and Chance to Win Full Game!

Last year my  husband (who is a software developer) and I created the interactive game Noggle that has been a big hit with teachers using it in their classroom!  My students absolutely love the game and from what I have heard from other teachers, their students do, too.  The problem with our original Noggle game, though, was that it was designed using macros in PowerPoint, which means that it didn’t work on all computers:  It didn’t work on Macs at all, it didn’t work on Windows 8, and some schools’ security settings didn’t allow the macros to run…

Sooo…my husband completely remade the game as an html file that does not use PowerPoint at all, and should run on ANY computer – PC, Mac, IPAD, etc!!  (You can now play Noggle with the whole class on a SMARTboard, interactive whitboard, or Mimio or set it up on classroom computers or IPADs as a center/station activity….this new version is very versatile!)

noggle new cover

In case you haven’t read  my earlier post on Noggle and have no idea what I’m talking about….Noggle is a math game that is a great way to practice operations with whole numbers, operations with integers, the order of operations, and the letter mode of the game can even be used in a Language Arts classroom to have students practice creating words.  You just click on the mode you want to play, and then a random board is generated.

noggle pic2

Here’s my “How to Play” Page explaining the game:

noggle pic4

The game opens in your browser, but can be played with or without an internet connection.  It has been tested in Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 9 and up, Safari, Opera, and Firefox.  It was also successfully tested on an IPAD and android tablet.  However, the more the game is tested, the better!

That’s where you come into play…I want to give the game away FREE to 3 of my blog readers!!  In order to be eligible to win, all you need to do is try out the demo version of the game, and leave me a comment letting me know what type of computer you are on (PC, Mac, IPAD, etc), your operating system (Windows 8, Vista, etc.), what browser you are using (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera), and how the demo game runs for you.  Feel free to leave your thoughts/comments/questions about the game, or how many expressions you were able to come up with, as well.  (I found 13 expressions with an answer of 12 in the three minute time period)!

*****Click here to try out the demo version*****

Depending on your computer/browser the demo game will either just open automatically for you when clicked, or it will download to your computer.  Once it downloads you should be able to click on the download and have it open right up.  If it does not open automatically in your browser when clicked, right click on the downloaded file and go to “Open With” and then select the browser of your choice.

If you are on an older computer that does not have a supported browser, you can download one (such as Google Chrome) free online.  (https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/)

To enter my giveaway for the full version of my Noggle Interactive Game, simply leave a comment below stating: type of computer, operating system, browser, how demo runs, (and optional comments/questions/etc).  I will email the full game to the winners, so be sure to leave an email address when filling out the comments form.  3 winners will be randomly selected  on 10/26/15.

 

Thanks for reading,

Christina


 

UPDATE 10/26:  This giveaway has ended.  Thank you to everyone who tested out the demo and left me a comment!  

THE WINNERS ARE:

  • Jessi W
  • V Fuller
  • J Rousselle

 

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5 Ways to Use Factor Trees in Middle School Math

I think factor trees are one of the coolest “tools” for middle school students!  Students tend to like them and they have several different uses in middle school math.

5 ways to use factor trees

Here are the 5 ways I use factor trees with my students:

1.  Prime Factorization
This is the most obvious use of factor trees and it’s typically the first way students learn to use them.

prime factorization

When I teach prime factorization I introduce the idea of the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic (no matter how many different factor trees students make for a number, they will always get the same prime factorization).  I also emphasize the two things they can/should do to check their answer:
– make sure all numbers in their prime factorization are PRIME numbers
– make sure the product of the numbers in their prime factorization is the starting number

2 & 3.  GCF and LCM
Using factor trees is my second favorite way to teach the greatest common factor and least common multiple of numbers and/or monomials.  (The cake method is my favorite method).

GCF and LCM factor trees

4.  Simplifying Radicals
Factor trees make simplifying radicals so easy for my pre-algebra and algebra students!  Students understand that finding the square root of a number means figuring out what number times itself equals the starting number, so in simplifying radicals they are simply pulling out one of each prime factor that is listed twice in the factor tree.

simplifying radicals factor trees

5.  Factoring Trinomials
The idea behind factoring trinomials is pretty simple.  Students need to come up with two numbers that have a certain product and sum.  Students are typically pretty good at factoring simple trinomials like this, since coming up with the two numbers is a breeze:

factor trinomial easy
But, many students struggle with problems like the one below, not because they don’t understand the factoring process, but because they can’t come up with the two numbers with the given sum and product.   That’s where factor trees come in handy!

factor trinomial factor tree

For students who have a tough time coming up with the numbers, I have them make a factor tree for 126.  Once they have it broken into its prime factors, they just need to break up the prime factors into 2 numbers every possible way until they find the ones with a sum of 23.

While this method does take some trial and error, it gives “stuck” students a starting place and a set number of possibilities to try.

Do you use factor trees in any other ways in your math classes?  If so, please share!

Thanks for reading,
Christina

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Coordinate Planes Freebie

Just a quick post today (to make up for my last 3 being sooo long)!

Does anyone else have students who can’t seem to draw a decent coordinate plane on a piece of graph paper?  I never would have thought that tracing a horizontal and vertical line on a piece of graph paper would be difficult for anyone to do, but I have some students who can’t seem to draw a straight line (even with a ruler)…

Obviously if the coordinate plane isn’t drawn correctly, it is impossible to graph correctly so I went online in search of a page of coordinate planes that I could print out.  I found a bunch that had 4 or 6 coordinate planes on a page but they seemed to waste alot of space to me, so I made my own sheet with 12 coordinate planes on it that I will be printing double-sided so students can use it to complete 24 graphing problems (and I can avoid the headache of having to look at problems being completed on imperfect coordinate planes.

If you have students who suffer from the same inability to draw straight lines as mine, click the image below to download and print the pdf of 12 coordinate planes.

coordinate planes

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

Chrisitna

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