Bunny Times Brings Conceptual Understanding to Multiplication

Four years ago, my colleague Scott Steketee and I set out to develop an interactive game to help students develop strategies for thinking about and solving multiplication problems. As we examined the existing apps on the market, we discovered that most focused on the drill aspect of learning one’s multiplication facts. We set our goals higher. We wanted students to become confident in facts up to 12 x 12, but this fluency needed to develop through visual models that stressed the conceptual aspects of multiplication.

Bunny Times uses carrots in a field to represent the array model of multiplication. In the first few levels, students determine the total number carrots in the field and a single bunny eats them all. Some students may count the carrots one by one, but soon, a patch of fog rolls in, obscuring many of the carrots. In later levels, bunny teams eat carrots in unison, with students able to specify the number of bunnies in each team. These game elements lead students to develop new strategies for thinking about multiplication, such as skip counting, adding on, and deconstructing problems like 7 x 8 into (5 x 8) + (2 x 8).

Tap the image below to play Bunny Times on the NCTM Illuminations site. If you’d like to read about the pedagogy behind the game and a mathematical overview of each level, download this document.

To date, there have been over 53,000 views of the Learn to Play video available on the opening screen of the game.  The bunnies sure are getting a workout!


2 thoughts on “Bunny Times Brings Conceptual Understanding to Multiplication”

  1. Yes, this was on my list of things to look into for my 7 year-old daughter after I read Tracy’s post. So nice to see that it was made with WSP!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *