Math Game Review: Sokikom

I’ve recently been playing a new math game called Sokikom (so-kee-kom). It’s an online social math game – yes “social” – for 1st through 6th graders.

So far I love it. The only bummer is that Daughter is only 21 months old, so a mouse to her either squeaks or is edible. But I did have some older kids in my family play – and they’ve all enjoyed it!

It currently has three games, Frachine, Treeching and Opirate, and various other perks and treats to help children with math. It’s officially launching next week and the folks at headquarters tell me there’s more to come – even after launch.

Here’s a little info to whet your whistle for it:

Frachine reinforces fractions.

The fun part of this fraction game is you get to cut the pieces up while you play. So it isn’t just showing parts of a whole, but the child actively makes the parts of the whole.

Treeching supports money, measurements, time, patterns and early algebra.

Sokikom is full of surprises. Sometimes the answer isn’t in the form you’re expecting. At first glance, this challenge puzzle seems all about mouse control. But notice there isn’t a matching “12 months” on the tree. Instead you have to convert. This is a great opportunity for teaching units!

Opirate reinforces operations and early algebra.

This was my least favorite game of Sokikom – but only because my sister creamed me in it. (We used the online social part from our respective houses. Felt like being a kid again!)

Opirate is a bit of a thinking-through game. You have to do the problem (in the cloud at the top of the screen), then find the solution on the map, then get yourself to the solution. The “X marks the spot” numbers keep popping up – so every new problem has the old X’s that you had before (if you can remember where) as well as some new ones.

The Social Aspect

Your children can “friend” other kids with whom to play. I’m not a Farmville or World of Warcraft person, but I understand the appeal. Playing 20 minutes a night with an online friend keeps kids connected and at home, safe.

More Goodies for the Kids

In Sokikom kids earn energy (which they need to play a game) and Soki-money. As they accomplish levels, they get awarded Soki-stars. The Soki-stars unlock clothing and accessories items they can “buy” with Soki-bucks to personalize their avatar – a popular element of any social game.

For parents and teachers

Parents typically read to children before bed. Sokikom is a way for parents to encourage a little bedtime math: do some Sokikom math for 10 minutes and read for 10 minutes.

And since many households have multiple computers, you can play online with your child – even sitting next to him or her. What a great bedtime routine!

Sokikom also has a robust infrastructure to track and manage the progress of each child:

Are you ready for it?

Sokikom has won numerous awards and is funded by the US Department of Education. From their literature:

Sokikom is focused on five core tenets: provide social learning where kids help kids learn math; adapt to individual students’ needs and learning styles; encourage positive and safe competitive game-play, which leads to measurable improvements; and connect school and home to allow for continuous web-based learning.

I’ve seen these in action with this game. I’m a hands-on kind of mom and teacher, and I’m very much into attaching math to anything we can. If your kids lean toward video games, Sokikom‘s a great one to use!

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