Students Grow Math Skills with Palm OS PDAs and Leading Step’s New “Size It Up” Games

From: Leading Step, Inc.
Published: Wed Oct 12 2005

Size It Up is a series of three games that are played on Palm OS handheld computers to help students identify and compare numbers and math operations.

Working together as a complete learning system, Size It Up’s three games, Arrows, Bricks and Numbers, are designed to help young students learn whole numbers, decimals, fractions, mixed numbers, and negative numbers, and even operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.

Arrows is a timed game to help students learn to compare the size of numbers as they put them in order from smallest to largest. As new numbers appear on the left-hand side of the screen, students shoot them like arrows into a column of numbers on the right-hand side of the screen so that they land between the smaller and larger numbers. If the "arrow" fits into the correct gap on the number column, the number will be added to the line and a new number-arrow will appear to be shot into place. Teachers, parents or the students themselves can choose to focus on a particular type of number to use in the game, such as whole numbers or decimals, or they can select multiple types and have the game randomly pick a different one for each round.

The Bricks game helps students to identify numbers based on prompts made by the game. Numbers are displayed as "bricks" in a wall, and the goal is to clear levels of bricks by picking the correct number that answers a command prompt. For example, the prompt at the top of the screen may ask the player to select the smallest or largest number, a number that falls within a given range, or a number with a given digit in a specified place value. As the correct bricks are selected, they turn multi-colored and a new command will be displayed. When all of the bricks on a level have been correctly selected, that level will disappear and a new level will appear on top. Players must clear the specified number of levels for each round in a specified amount of time.

Arrows and Bricks both help students to practice their math tables in a fun and unique way. Most states have standards that focus on kids being completely fluent in these basic operations and these games are a more engaging way for students to master these skills than simply doing math drills.

The goal of Numbers is to identify the numeric equivalent of a value that is specified using a different notation, such as a written form of a word or the expanded notation. The game offers multiple variations, giving players the opportunity to unscramble the digits of a number, fill in the blanks of the target number, or come up with the target number entirely on their own with no assistance—other than the Hint option which is offered on all games.

In consultation with educators, Leading Step’s programs were created to provide a number of advantages over other computerized learning tools. First, the variety of controls allow teachers to meet a wide range of needs for various students, enabling them to customize the programs for different grade levels, but also to individual student levels, meeting the full range of students in their classes from those still working on basic skills to more advanced pupils.

Teachers and parents can monitor each player’s progress through the Size It Up game system by storing the scores for up to eight players on each PDA. Using the game score statistics, they can easily determine how well players are progressing in developing different math skills.

"Our learning programs with low-cost PDAs provide educators and parents alike a great tool for both enhancing math, geometry and spelling skills and offering increased access to computers, which helps to meet the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act," said Renee Revis, president of Leading Step, Inc. "Size It Up provides a very fun way for kids to grow in their math abilities while teachers can gauge their progress."

About Leading Step, Inc.
Leading Step, Inc. creates fun, educational games for children from grades 3 – 8 to help them improve their skills in the areas of spelling, geometry and math. The games are played on Palm OS handhelds, which provide parents and teachers a low-cost means of increasing access to computers and learning software among children. Leading Step’s games are played by children throughout the entire world. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at Schools can also find helpful information at Leading Step’s Web site regarding state standards that each of the company’s applications will help teachers to meet which can be used for grant-writing purposes.
Company: Leading Step, Inc.
Contact Name: Kevin Doel (Public Relations Contact)
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 785-273-9660

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