Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Multiplication Bingo Released as Shareware

Unbeknownst to me, the game of "Bingo" has long been used as a means for third and fourth grade students to learn their multiplication tables.

Learning one's multiplication tables is journey of descent into the pit of drill and kill -- endless rote memorization of individual multiplication families, endless repetition of multiplication problems that make students simply hate learning in general and math in particular.

And my kids were looking at those twin evils dead in the eye. They were not happy campers.

Enter my idea to use a Bingo motif to get them to voluntarily practice their multiplication tables.

If you Google "multiplication bingo" you will find a bazillion sites that provide printable multiplication bingo cards. Regrettably, this means that someone, preferably a responsible adult like, oh, say, a parent, supervise the Bingo activity.

I wanted something that the little dears could preferably do endlessly on their own without my intervention.

Enter Multiplication Bingo.

I used Rev (erm, LiveCode it's called now) to create a simple program that provided a Bingo card for each of the 2 through 12 times tables families. Each card has 2 or 3 pre-determined routes to achieving Bingo. Each card presents a randomized series of multiplication problems for each number's family. After the 12 family, one can select one of the three randomized cards containing multiplication problems from among the 12 families. The learner can concentrate on a specific multiplication family or families or choose the randomized Bingo cards. Fun sounds provide the learner with feedback.

Again, it is probably not the best coded project anyone has ever seen. But I was able to complete it in time for my kids to learn their times tables and they played and still play the game enthusiastically. I call that kid-tested and kid-approved. The most difficult thing was that I wanted to fake the menu bar rather than use LC's built-in menu builder to keep everything on the Bingo card, and to get that working in an HIG-satisfactory manner, I had to pay somebody else to code that. But that's cool. I'm fine with that :-)

Many kind thanks to Mark Schonewille of for his encouragement and assistance in making this a reality, as well as for making the bloody fake menus actually work :-)

No comments: