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# Kakooma Your Way to Math Fluency

By Angela Bunyi on May 21, 2012
• Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

I typically keep my post literacy related, but I have to go off that path today. Well, sort of. With so much talk about reading fluency, let’s take a break and talk about math fluency. And fun. And games. Because that is what Greg Tang has to offer. I was able to attend a session with Greg Tang recently, and I was instantly sold on his new technology-driven concept, Kakooma. If you have students grades K–12 that are secret finger counters (yourself included), you MUST read on. Greg Tang can help. And I can as well: Learn how you can receive a FREE book or subscription, and let’s Kakooma your way through math.

## Move Over Sudoku and Mad Minute Math, and Let’s Start to Kakooma

From kindergartners to adults, Kakooma has something to offer everyone. Kakooma offers assistance with addition, subtraction, multiplication, negatives, and even fractions. Honestly, I am quite confident that it can and will help me personally. The secret is two-fold:

• Kakooma trains your brain to think in patterns.
• It provides a tool that helps students have what Greg calls "math density." Students are “tricked” into doing many math problems in their head without even realizing it.

## Win a Free Subscription or Kakooma Book!

Kakooma is addictive. Not to mention inexpensive. It’s so inexpensive that I am going to offer a prize of a free lifetime account. Woah, you are thinking. Except the price for that is a whopping \$5.95. If that is too much for you, there are several portions of the site that are free.

So, share in the comments section any other math resources you have that get your students truly excited about math and/or any success stories about the effectiveness of Kakooma in your classroom, and I’ll randomly select a comment on May 28 for a free subscription or Kakooma addition book.

After talking to Greg Tang about my interest in sharing this through a post, he had the following to offer. I hope you’ll take the time to read it.

## Do You Kakooma?

by Greg Tang

Talk to most kids about math, and they’ll probably tell you "I'm not very good at math." Unfortunately, they're probably right. US students ranked 25th out of 34 countries in a recent OECD study, far behind students from Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea, and Finland. So what can parents and teachers do to help our children improve? We can start by playing more games with them, especially well-designed ones.

Games are a great way for kids to learn to think strategically and get the repetition and practice they need to be good in math. From a teaching perspective, games should develop the right math skills. Children, however, are looking to have fun. Unfortunately, many math games sacrifice teaching effectiveness in the name of fun.

Effective math games should have high “math density,” which means most of the time playing the game should be spent on math. Too often kids are attracted to a game because of the non-math rewards they get. Answer a problem correctly, and they get to shoot something or collect a prize. As a result, most of their time and attention is focused on shooting and collecting things, not on math.

Wouldn’t it be great if kids were rewarded for solving math problems . . . with more math problems? That’s the way my new math game called Kakooma works. The problems are deceptively difficult, annoyingly addictive, and fiendishly fun. They “trick” kids into doing hundreds of calculations. And what do kids say when they’re finally finished? “Give me another one!”

The rules for Kakooma are simple. In each nine-number square, find the one number that is the sum of two other numbers. Use all nine sums to create one final “puzzle-in-a-puzzle” and solve. Sounds easy, right? Sometimes it is, but often the answer is right in front of you and you just can’t see it. That’s the hook. Teachers love Kakooma because kids end up doing tons of math. Kids love Kakooma because it’s fun. Now let’s Kakooma.

I think the game is fun, unfortunately my daughter's school is taking the fun out of it by making it a 3 minute test. I was hoping that I could find some stategies to solving kakooma, but apparently there are none. I love math but still have a hard time completing 6 of the 9 puzzles in 3 minutes.

Kakooma has finally gotten my 2nd grader into math! She actually WANTS to do math now! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the best math game....period!

ya this game is awesome i play it in school all the time itz cool we do it on a big smart board

Ordered Kakooma for my 8 year-old grandson! Love it!

Annelie Glimka