Practice Makes Perfect

I love technology.  Learning new programs to use in a classroom is one of the things I miss in retirement.  I do however have some issues with technology in the classroom.

You can call it an app, I call it a game.  That’s not all bad because good learning games are great for reinforcement.  My problem with most apps is that there is too much fluff.  In a lot of them the “story” that take the child though the game over shadows the skill.  There’s a reason teachers teach and reteach.  There’s a purpose for drilling a skill.  The more you practice and use a skill the more likely you will remember it.

When I was teaching we had several math apps on the classroom iPads.  I found them lacking content and too heavy on graphics.  They always left me longing for “Funnels and Buckets”.

For those of you not familiar with Funnels and Buckets it is a DOS math game from the 1980’s.  You choose the problems, you choose the sound effects, you choose the speed.  The object of the game is to zap the math facts falling from the sky before they fill the buckets.  Start simple, start slow.  Learn the facts.

Sadly, it’s no longer available.  Why do I miss it?  I have two children who are really smart in math.  They practiced and practiced their math facts using Funnels and Buckets.  They got really fast and didn’t get let the buckets get filled.  They knew their facts.  Knowing the basic math facts makes math easier.  Fewer errors, more correct answers….it’s simple math.

A simple game, lacking graphics, teaching basic facts.

Oh, Funnels and Buckets how I wish you were still around for the children that need you……… but there are still flashcards.  They’re a little boring compared to Funnels and Buckets but using them every day with an adult will get results too.

Funnels and Buckets, come back!

Hello app developers, are you listening?

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