Lure of the Labyrinth - The Game






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Publication: Teach
Date published: May 1, 2010

www.labyrinth.thinkport.org

Your beloved pet is missing and in order to find it you must enter a strange (and extremely smelly) world where your only friend is a mysterious bean-loving girl with wings. There are monsters all over, stinking up the joint and forcing you to do crazy jobs like make pet food out of carrots and eyeballs. How can you rescue your pet and escape this labyrinth?

This is the premise for Lure of the Labyrinth, a web-based digital game for middle-school pre-algebra students. It includes a wealth of intriguing math-based puzzles wrapped into an exciting narrative game that engages students in an eerie world where monsters seek world domination at any cost. The only way students can prevent that from happening is by solving the puzzles. Students will know immediately whether their solution is correct by judging the monster's reaction.

Unlike typical math games that are divided into two parts: the boring math solving section followed by a fun game playing component, Lure of the Labyrinth combines the two. The math problems become the fun part.

In the world of Lure of the Labyrinth, students progress through three sections, or "wings." Each covers one of the typical pre-algebra strands: Proportions (including fractions and ratios), Variables and Equations, and Number and Operations (including geometry, order of operations and modular arithmetic).

Each of the three wings includes three puzzles that have three levels. The levels progress from easy to hard. And continuing with the "rule of three," students have to successfully solve each puzzle three times before they can eliminate a room.

Resources

Statistics say most students are gamers. They will have no trouble jumping into the game and gleefully working their way through its world of monsters. On the other hand, teachers may not be as apt so Lure of Labyrinth provides educators with extensive resources.

Teachers have access to the following:

Before bringing Lure of 'the Labyrinth to the classroom:

* Handbook explaining the basic concepts of the game

* Plot and characters summaries

* First steps guide to help

* A guide to introducing Lure of the Labyrinth including, steps, actions, and tips.

* A plan for success

* Articles on how to think about technology, thinking about the teacher's role in the game

During:

* Guidelines on encouraging positive use of the TPC, an instant messenger that allows players to communicate with each other during game play

* Explanations of the way specific puzzles work plus related material

* Lesson plans with standards, objectives, and indicators for grades 6-8

* Clear explanations of the background mathematics that are incorporated into each puzzle

Introducing Lure of the Labyrinth to students:

* Setting up rules and expectations

* Setting the stage for your students

* Using graphic organizers

While working with Lure of the Labyrinth:

Lure of the Labyrinth was designed so students could play the game first and then bring the experience with numbers into their classrooms. When students finish the game-play, they will be looking to you to help them translate what they have experienced into the mathematics they explore in class.

* Time to be the guide on the side

* Another way to be the guide on the side

* Summing up the puzzle session

Evaluation:

* Administrator tools

* Evaluation strategies

* Going forward

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