It has been the experience of many teachers that when they distribute math papers most students' face turn white. Why is it so hard to use numbers? Well, we have a partial solution by presenting math in a different way. TuxMath is where mathematics meets the arcade.
In this shooting game, asteroids threaten friendly penguin Tux. His ammunition? Mental arithmetic! The flying moon rocks are actually space division, multiplication and subtraction, and by finding the answer, you destroy them, and saving the penguin igloos from the devastating impact.
TuxMath is an open source, free game whose difficulty is appropriate for students from elementary to high school. It offers dozens of missions that require calculations that get more and more complicated, ending up with some really tricky stuff, like the division of negative numbers.
TuxMath also offers a second, more advanced mode, where the asteroids are fractions you destroy by finding their common denominator. TuxMath is fun and well-designed and bridges the gap between educational and fun. Who said that fractions have to be boring?!
Tuxmath is available for windows, mac and linux PCs. One can download it from here. Tutorials are found here.