Bubbly Primes Launches!
Nuhubit Software Studios LLC proudly announces the release of our first educational game, Bubbly Primes.
Bubbly Primes is a fun math game that provides help with factoring. Although the game was designed for kids aged 7 and up, it has turned out to be appealing for a much larger audience.
Bubbly Primes is about factoring and Prime Numbers. It was actually conceived of as a way to help with fractions, one of several critically important math topics usually taught between 3rd and 7th grades. Fractions can be hard to learn, and hard to teach.
There are a number of reasons that fractions are difficult. They require more abstraction than whole numbers and integers. Also, numerous multi-step procedures must be learned for fractions such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, simplification, and converting them to mixed numbers and back. Some of the procedures are similar to others and some are different. Students get them confused.
In analyzing how kids learn fractions, we identified lack of facility with factoring as a critical commonality between many of the procedures, which often lead to students getting bogged down and losing track of the bigger picture.
Knowing the multiplication table is enough to know how to factor. However, we had an insight that the level of familiarity with factoring, when greatly strengthened, has a major impact on facility with fractions. When adding or subtracting numbers, factoring is the main skill needed to arrive at the Lowest Common Denominator (LCD). When multiplying or dividing, factoring is the main skill required for successful cross-canceling. Bubbly Primes players acquire this familiarity quickly and deeply. We had an additional insight that a powerful analogy is formed between how numbers factor, and how, in Bubbly Primes, the bubbles split up when popped. This naturally reinforces how the math works while providing elements present in good game designs.
So, in the words of game designer Alex Bozman “Bubbly Primes is actually an arrow to the heart of a major barrier to mastering fractions.”
We hope you enjoy playing Bubbly Primes. We are delighted to have created an educational game that is fun to play, and we are proud to have created a game that makes the world a better place when people play it.
Apart from practicing factoring with Bubbly Primes, here are some additional online resources we found that may help with learning fractions:
- The Bubbly Primes Math Help pages specifically answer questions related to prime numbers & composite numbers, the different kinds of numbers, the Sieve of Eratosthenes, finding LCDs, finding GCFs, simplifying fractions, cross-cancelling, the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic, and so forth and so on.
- An article at homeschoolmath.net makes some of the same observations that we did in analyzing the problem; they focus on helping kids with mental modeling of what fractions mean.
- A collection of do-it-yourself real-world games and activities that help reinforce fractions.
- Another interesting collection of do-it-yourself real-world fraction games.
- A website presents an alternate set of teaching techniques that can help different students master fractions.
- A blog post that provides a number of alternative strategies and advice on teaching fractions.
- A simple but brilliant idea from a teacher’s blog thinking creatively about alternative approaches to fraction conceptualization.
- A website that provides online tutorials helping with various procedures that are part of working with fractions.
- An interesting article (with an embedded video) that touches on both fractions as the root of math anxiety for many people as well as how the Common Core Standards propose changing the teaching of fractions.
- An article based on a Ph.D. thesis presents a different set of useful ways for kids to conceptualize fractions.
- A teacher’s blog with ideas for introducing fractions to kids that are probably younger than most Bubbly Primes players.