Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | February 17, 2010

Who Let the Dogs Out?

It was me who let them out, and the dogs are Ninten-dogs.  A year ago I blogged about starting to use Nintendo DS in my classroom.  In a nutshell, I was able to purchase six DS and six copies of the game Nintendogs.  The goal was to use them to improve my students’ problem solving ability.

To check their problem solving skills, I used a pre and post test of some problems that I would normally have used in my classroom.  These problems are similar to problems that our school division uses at the end of the year to check the problem solving ability of students in all grade levels.

Did their problem solving improve?  Yes, in fact the problem solving ability of each student improved. Was it because I used the Nintendo DS?  I don’t know.  I continued to do all of the other things I would normally have done in my classroom to help with problem solving, so hopefully those things also had an impact.

What I do know is that using the DS involved more than just math problem-solving skills.  Sharing a DS with three or four other students is not easy when you are six.  It involves taking turns, cooperation and compromise, all of which are important life skills, and a different kind of problem-solving.  All good reasons to begin using the DS again this year.

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Responses

  1. Hey Mrs. Cassidy! I came across your blog as part of an assignment for Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. I had the privilage of talking to you via Skype a few weeks ago, and I am glad to be seeing your blog as well. This is a neat entry in that it shows that even something that schools normally try to ban can be used in the learning process. I think it’s very creative that you thought to use Nintendo DS systems in your class.

  2. Hi Mrs. Cassidy,
    This was a very interesting post. I agree with you on the students taking turns, cooperation, and compromise being life skills. I think that if the students learn this young enough, it would become natural to share things with others. I never would have thought to use Nintendo DS’s in the classroom.

  3. Hi! I hopped on over from Elementary, My Dear or Far from it! Love your blog and especially this post! I bet using the DS was pretty motivating to your students as well 🙂


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