Games-based learning involves instruction with realistic game experiences (Cicchino, 2015). This action research study explored game-based learning as fifth grade mathematics students completed a brief unit on ordered pairs utilizing games-based lessons. Attitude and achievement data were collected mainly by surveys, content tests, student interviews, and field notes. Additional information included in the teacher-researcher analysis consisted of classroom photographs, videos, and student work samples. Results revealed that student attitudes improved both toward the lessons and toward math in general. Similarly, achievement improved for all students across the unit. Analysis of the narrative data produced three themes. First, the students acquired a growth mindset (Boaler, 2016) that fostered a positive work ethic. Second, student partner work helped them to develop problem solving skills. And third, the games engaged the students. In summary, students showed significant improvements both in their attitudes about math and their achievement in ordered pairs.

Author Biography

Kyli White is a master’s student in Elementary Education at Wake Forest University. Leah P. McCoy is a Professor of Education at Wake Forest University. (NOTE: White is the first author. McCoy is the corresponding author.)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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