Multiplication with Spirit Lake


All right, I know you all just got back from the holidays, or, in some school districts are still on break. I want to talk about multiplication tables anyway, and very seriously. Now you can see why I’m not very sought out as the fun person at parties.

How teachers are feeling the first morning back. Hint: It’s not “LET’S DO MULTIPLICATION!”

I will make you happy, though. If you have Windows computers in your school, you can download the Spirit Lake Demo for free from either the Windows store or our website (you can also get other free games, including for Chromebooks here).

Free is probably all that’s left in your budget

If you have as many kids and grandkids as me, free is probably all that’s in your budget after Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, travel and everything else that happens over the holidays. So, download that game!

It can be hard to get kids motivated to focus on school again after a break. There’s nothing wrong with easing them into with a new game.

There is a LOT of math even in our free games, but you may not see it all

If you miss one of the first two problems, you need to select a box to study

Differentiated Instruction

I’m a big believer in differentiated instruction. I was good at math as a child and I was often bored and misbehaving in class. With Spirit Lake, students can go at their own pace. Here’s how.

  • You start the game and enter a tipi in a virtual world where you are told there is an epidemic. You need to go into the woods and find an herb to make medicine.
  • On the path, you are attacked by rabid wolves. There is a math problem asking if you can only hit a wolf about once every five times, how many arrows do you need for seven wolves. If you get it right, you shoot the wolves and continue on the path.
  • ONLY IF YOU GET IT WRONG do you need to study. Students can pick one of the four options above. After you’ve studied, you can take a quiz to get back into the game.
  • Now you make it to the herbs in the woods. You pick the number you think you need for 8 people when you need 3 for each person.
  • ONLY IF YOU GET IT WRONG do you need to study, otherwise, you go back to the tipi

So, a student who has mastered multiplication will answer two word problems to complete this level. A student who has not mastered multiplication may end up doing four educational activities and taking two quizzes.

What about that first student? Well, that student had fun and saw how multiplication was applied to real problems, even hundreds of years ago. After he or she has finished, there is a full version of Spirit Lake (that’s not free), or there is a Fish Lake demo for fractions, Making Camp Lakota, for division.

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