Games & Simulations
Save Patch is an educational video game designed to promote student understanding of two foundational ideas about fractions and rational number addition: (a) the size of a rational number is relative to how one whole unit is defined; and (b) only identical units can be added to create a single numerical sum.
The goal of this game is to reach a cat statue across an archeological dig site. The challenge lies in only being able to travel on a one- or two-dimensional grid along a rope path, where the player must determine the correct length of rope to be strung between posts. On some levels, the player is required to stop at prescribed points (denoted by gold signposts). Players are given a set number of rope pieces to build the rope path; rope pieces are added to signposts to prescribe the distance the character will walk. For example, if you add a one-unit rope piece to a signpost, the character will walk exactly one unit. In the game, one whole unit is always the distance between two large gray posts. Rope pieces can be added to a signpost to increase the distance the character will walk; however, only identical rope pieces can be added together. While any size rope piece can be placed on the signpost initially, subsequent rope pieces can only be added to the signpost if they are the same size. Whole unit (integer) rope pieces are also added one at a time to signposts, reinforcing the meaning of addition with integers.
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305C080015 to the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).