If you’ve ever had the joyful experience of trying to teach a four-year-old how to play Tic-Tac-Toe you hopefully have witnessed the excitement that a child feels when they suddenly learn that games involve strategy. Instantly games become more interesting. Now there is a reason to hide your cards when playing Old Maid. Math Bingo is a bit like Tic-Tac-Toe in that players can develop a strategy. Regular Bingo involves calling out randomly balls, B-13, I-24, and so on. Each number only appears once on a typical bingo card. Math Bingo involves a strategy because the same answer might occur a couple of times on the card and therefore the player must strategically decide which answer to pick.
Math Bingo is designed for iPad and Apple TV. It is a two player game. On the iPad version players sit opposite each other so the playing surface looks something like this. The bingo cards are rotated 180° so the orientation is correct for each user.
When designing the Apple TV version of Math Bingo, I thought it would be fun for kids to use slightly scary looking critters as markers in the game, so play begins after each player has selected which marker to use.
Using the settings option, players can select the skill level that they would like to practice. The app provides 20 levels, all keyed to the Common Core Standards. Level 1 is beginning addition facts so it’s a good place for K-1 students to start.
When they are ready each player taps the Go! icon and the game begins. The app will generate a set of 25 problems at the skill level selected using the settings option. Every game is unique.
Here, two addition problems are presented 9+5 and 9+2. During the game each player will be given the same problems but not in the same order. Players take turns and move the yellow highlight to designate their answer choice. When using the Apple TV version, the highlight is moved by swiping the Siri Remote or using a joystick. On the iPad the player just taps the screen. The goal is to select an appropriate answer with a strategy of trying to get 5 markers in a line.
When the correct answer is chosen the game marker appears and an audible reward is given. Play continues until one player gets a BINGO, five markers in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line. Let me know if you would like a free download code so you try this app to see if it would be useful to your students.
And, oh, by the way if you are interested in a fun way to introduce Tic-Tac-Toe try my Tic-Tac-Tarantula for iPad, especially if you are into creepy crawly things. Tic-Tac-Tarantula is a one or two player game — match wits against the computer or play with a friend.