Kakooma Challenge via Google Hang Out

By: Mary Kienstra on: March 12, 2015  in: #tlap, Engagement, Kakooma   2 Comments

My students love to play Kakooma on www.gregtangmath.com .  In fact, Kakooma Challenge is the centerpiece of our Friday math routine.   I’ve bragged to every teacher I know about how engaging Kakooma is for students and how we use it to learn so many things in my class.  Today we competed in a Kakooma Challenge via Google Hang Out with a class in Wisconsin.  That was fun!


Heidi’s class is projected on the screen for everyone to see.

Last year I attended the ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) Conference with my colleague, Christina, and met some wonderful people.   One of those is Heidi, a dynamic, enthusiastic teacher from Wisconsin.  We stayed in touch via Twitter and decided our students should meet each other.  After a bit of discussion, we decided to meet today on Google Hang Out and have our students play Kakooma.  Christina’s students and my students all piled into my room to “meet” their new friends from Wisconsin.

We started by setting up the Google Hang Out, projecting onto the screen in the front of the room and placing 2 chairs in front of my laptop camera for my students.  Two students at a time came up to sit in front of the camera, each holding an iPad, ready to play Kakooma Times.  In Heidi’s class, 2 students at a time came up to play on the Chromebook.  (Special thanks to Mike, our Tech Integration Specialist, who made sure it was all running smoothly.)

Students came up to sit in front of the camera to "compete" against Heidi's students.

Students came up to sit in front of the camera to “compete” against Heidi’s students.

The students introduced themselves to each other as they sat virtually facing each other. On the signal from the

teachers, they began to play the game.  As they finished, each announced his/her time and then everyone in both classes, approximately 100 hundred miles apart, clapped and cheered.  It was a beautiful example of sportsmanship for everyone.  Before they turned away from the camera and their new friends, they did a virtual handshake, congratulating each other on a good game.

My students are “numbers” kids.  They wrote down all the scores.  When someone asked, “Who won?” all I could say was “We all won!  We had a great time.”  Scores didn’t matter today, even among my most competitive kids.

I sure hope Heidi’s class will play Kakooma with us again.  It was a great way to expand those classroom walls and let kids “meet” kids from another school.  In another state.  I was so impressed with how well our students supported each other.  They knew they were doing something new and different, something that doesn’t happen often enough.



  2 comments   Comment

  1. 8 years ago  

    Heidi Jones

    Oh Mary! We enjoyed our first Kakooma Challenge with you and your class so very much! Thank you! What a wonderful way to “connect” our classrooms through a friendly competition of Kakooma. You are absolutely right, we were all winners today! Can’t wait until next time!

    • 8 years ago  

      Mary Kienstra

      Let’s plan to “meet” again in April! We are already looking forward to that!!

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