How Wordle Can Help with Math Anxiety
Wordle, which you might think is simply a word game, is actually a mathematical puzzle.
Yes, it may use words and letters instead of numbers, and a wide vocabulary doesn't hurt, but the logic, strategy, probability and elimination processes we use to solve it are actually math skills.
If you aren't convinced, take a look at the equivalent number puzzle, Nerdle which is suitable for kids from about eight years and up and is exactly the same idea, except you have to find an equation instead of a word.
The process is pretty much identical, using the same strategy and logic skills as for Wordle, and all of these games teach the same important ideas which can help children who are anxious about math.
A wrong answer can be a step to help you reach the right one
Wordle teaches kids that getting things wrong is nothing to be afraid of. And that in fact, building on a wrong answer, with a bit of trial and error, can actually be an important part of the process.
For kids who get anxious about getting answers wrong this is a great thing to demonstrate to them. Math anxiety can affect the cognitive processes in the brain to the point that it makes finding the right answer more difficult for kids. If we can remove this stumbling block, the fear of getting it wrong, it can really help free up cognitive space for children who are struggling.
"Why do I have to do this?"
Kids, and particularly kids with anxiety around numbers, are more inclined to work at things they find fun, or that they can be convinced there is a point to in the real world. Wordle is a big topic of conversation among their peers at the moment, which might give them the motivation to also try the equivalent number game.
Practice makes perfect
Which brings us to practice. At Komodo we believe that practicing number facts 'little and often' is the best way to get them stored in the long term memory, where they can easily be accessed when required.
Kids who are worried about math might shy away from practice, which could end up making things more difficult for them in the long run.
Playing a fun game like Nerdle (or even any of these traditional games) is a great way to practice recall of these number facts without kids even realising they're exercising their 'math muscle'. It's a bit like blending hidden vegetables into pasta sauce - they don't even know they're there.
The best thing about these games is that it takes a relatively short time to complete them, which is reassuring for parents who are concerned about children spending too long on screens. (We designed Komodo around short periods of regular use for this exact reason.) Anything which encourages regular recall of number facts is valuable math practice, so enjoy having fun and learning with this latest craze!
Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost K-5 skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use at home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning math (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into your busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in math – without keeping them at the screen for long.
Find out more about Komodo and how it helps thousands of children each year do better at math – you can even try Komodo for free.