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.