Lure of the Labyrinth is a free, online immersive environment where students can explore maths concepts and apply their understandings to solve problems and free their kidnapped pet. It is designed for pre-algebra students and I find it very suitable for my grade 5/6 class.
I currently use Lure of the Labyrinth with my grade as part of our numeracy program. Our experience has been a positive one, with noticeable increases in student engagement and attitudes towards maths at school. We use our school netbooks to access the game, and students play individually, although they are always out of their seats looking at other people’s screens, talking about how to solve the problems. They also use the inbuilt message boards to share tactics and understandings.
I model a few problem solving strategies with a puzzle on the IWB, but apart from that the learning is very much driven by the students themselves. We are beginning to have moments when I am teaching a concept and the students realise that they have come across the concept in Lure of the Labyrinth, so we revisit the relevant puzzle and include it in the teaching moment. The game designers have also included teaching resources, including lesson plans and graphic organisers for each puzzle. The gameplay is compelling and engaging for both boys and girls, and 90% of my grade also play the game at home.
We have only been using the game for a few weeks and students have already logged up to 10 hours of playing time in the classroom and at home. The built-in teacher monitor shows me how much time each student spends on the game, how many times they have attempted puzzles and how many puzzles have been solved. Lure of the Labyrinth is proving to be a powerful tool for the learning of maths in the classroom.