Katy teacher uses games to teach math and science

Cartoon monsters invaded a third-grade class at Harmony Science Academy in Katy this year after teacher Mario Meeks designed his own set of multi-player card games to teach students science and math.

Meeks, a card and board game enthusiast, created educational games using Pokemon-like characters to better engage his students. “I kept thinking, ‘I could manipulate this game to reinforce a math skill or explain a science topic,’” he said.

Meeks now has 10 multi-player games, eight for math and two for science, each with multiple levels of difficulty. The games test students’ knowledge on math and science concepts, such as addition, multiplication, and fractions. But, Meeks said, he spent dozens of hours creating the games to include favorite player elements with monsters, defenders, and character cards. “I couldn’t do this if it really didn’t work; it had to make sense,” he said.

The students normally play once a week and occasionally during small-group time.

Third-graders Huda A. and Alexis A. said they could play Place Value War all day long. “You don’t want to stop, it’s really helping us learn math and the war game is the best.,” Huda said.

Fellow third-graders Roman M. and Shaun M. said the most difficult game is Mathemon: Advanced. Students practice multiplications while battling the monster characters.
“It's so complicated, but I like it. It will keep us busy all year,” Shaun said.

Meeks now sells his game templates after teachers began requesting copies. They can be found at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Gaming-To-Learn. “I didn’t make these games to sell them,” he said “I wanted to put it to use in my class but my wife found the site; told me to give it a try and now I get a small check each month.”

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