maths-game-australian-curriculum

About the game

The SpyClass game combines comic book-style art with problem-based learning to allow year 7 and 8 mathematics students to hone their problem-solving skills in an exciting and immersive 2D environment. By completing these tasks, the student will assist the games’ protagonists, three teenage spies named Dan, Jesse and Toby, to fulfill a range of missions set in exotic locales. ‘SpyClass: Operation OTMA’ and ‘SpyClass: The Icarus Principle’ transport students beyond the classroom while giving them challenges that are firmly based on the Australian Mathematics.

Links with Maths Quest: Each ‘SpyClass’ game has been designed to align directly with Maths Quest. After an initial ‘training’ level (aligned to Chapter 1: Numeracy), the student is invited to begin the first of 18 levels involving 2D comic book art and story-related challenges. Each challenge has a number of components that relate to the various sub-topics within the book which, when solved, give the student a reward, such as a gold star (for Hacking, Infiltration, Problem Solving, their skills as a Technician, and Loyalty), or a collectible item that relates to the mission such as a set of car keys, a grappling hook, or facial-recognition glasses. All of these items are tabulated in the student’s ‘Profile’ screen, where they can also see their level of achievement on any of the challenges.

With challenges clearly mapped against the curriculum and aligned with the ‘Maths Quest’ text, it is easy for teachers to see, at a glance, exactly which skills are being tested in each mission and direct the student to that mission accordingly. If a student has not played the previous mission, or would like to refresh himself/herself on the story, he/she can just hit the ‘recap’ button, which will bring them up to speed in 30 seconds. If a student gets stuck on a challenge, ‘Maths Quest’ is only a click away, with each challenge linking to the relevant dot point in the textbook.

Play

  • Deep and engaging storyline
  • Appeal to a wide range of students
  • Strong male and female characters from a range of cultural backgrounds

Learn

  • SpyClass focus on student engagement
  • SpyClass is a perfect activity for teachers to set for homework following the exploration of a single mathematical topic, or multiple topics, or

Use as an introduction to these topics with the students completing the ‘mission’ once they have completed their regular mathematics work.
SpyClass is designed to take student’s with understanding of a core mathematical concepts, and offer them an opportunity to revise and apply mathematical knowledge in a relatively real-world setting.

SpyClass is aimed at three types of students:

  1. the typical student who is completing the set material at the expected level;
  2. the reluctant mathematics student; and
  3. the extended mathematics student.

When a student logs into the game for the first time, he/she will be asked to rate their ability on all mathematical topics covered within the game at either a ‘bronze’, ‘silver’, or ‘gold’ level. This selection will steer the student into challenges that are at the level they defined. If the student wants to try an easier or more difficult challenge, they only need to select the relevant ‘tab’ within the learning object. This allows for the personalisation of content, as three students could be working at three different levels and all gaining a sense of achievement.

For students completing work at the required level, ‘SpyClass’ is perfect for either introducing a new topic in a rich and exciting context, or giving to students as a ‘reward’ once they have finished a topic. For reluctant students, ‘SpyClass’ may assist in re-engaging them in the subject by allowing them to use their mathematics skills and knowledge in a real-world setting, the perfect antidote to the perennial question, ‘When am I ever going to need this in real life?’ And, for students who require extension, the ‘gold’ level of each challenge should offer an appropriate level of difficulty; while prizes and stars, given for each challenge completed correctly, offer the incentive of reaching the end of the adventure and building a profile with all gold stars and other prizes unlocked.

Game Structure

  • Each SpyClass title consists of a number of Missions (SpyClass 7 has 18 missions & SpyClass 8 has 14 missions)
  • Each SpyClass title begins with a training level, based at The Estate
  • Each subsequent mission is related and linked to a specific chapter in Maths Quest 7 or 8 eBookPLUS titles.
  • Each mission contains at least 3 Learning Objects, where students have to apply their mathematical knowledge

Levels of Ability

  • SpyClass is suitable for mixed-ability classrooms.
  • The problems in each Learning Object cover three levels of ability;

    Bronze
    Silver
    Gold

  • Each student can work at his or her own pace,
  • This product also has a well-realized badge system in order to reward students for their persistence and skill.

SpyClass sets the bar for using narrative in the Mathematics classroom

  • The graphic novel format of the game’s story was deliberately chosen because of its accessibility to students of all levels of reading ability; the more confident reader swipes their way through ‘story screens’ with ease, while the less confident reader can go back to a screen that they want to study in more detail.
  • Literacy benefits: Not only will a student come away from using the learning objects with increased mathematical skills, but they will also feel more like a teenage super-spy because of their participation in the narrative, thereby increasing their identification with the central characters.

Australian Curriculum Integration

  • SpyClass is in-line with Australian mathematics curriculum, which prioritizes the need for problem-solving as a method of acquiring skills and confidence.
Year 6 SpyClass 7: Operation OTMA
Year 7
Year 8 SpyClass 8: The Icarus Principle
Year 9
Year 10