Well, sort of. When most people think of self directed they think of free schools where the kids do what they want and end up learning very little because for the most part they just goof off.
This is Directed Discovery (one of the concepts I talk about on the Basic Concepts page ), where they get to do what they want within certain guidelines. In this case it was just draw rectangles and count the sides.
You can find Timez Attack on my multiplication page and this is the blog post where you see him playing it. Pretty cool when his parents have to make him stop playing a game that teaches multiplication...and now it can be used as a reward for good behavior or doing chores or whatever. Learning is fun. He was markedly better at multiplication but still has quite a ways to go as they say. He is also almost completely off his fingers when doing addition, the skills sets he is acquiring will last his entire life. It's also helping in the classroom because math is easier when you can count fast.
There is also the element of increased self confidence and self esteem...because he knows that doing algebra is something "none of my friends can do." Apparently he was showing some of his friends what he does after school on Fridays...
And here is a link to the rules of the card game multiplication facts war I talk about in the video. The woman who wrote this page wrote me an email to complain that I had infringed her copyright by cutting and pasting the rules from her page. There will be a blog post about that later. So I went back and changed my page and reworded the rules and renamed some of the games. I am interested to see if she is claiming she made up these games, I've been playing them for many years...
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“I had, out of my sixty teachers, a scant half dozen who couldn't have been supplanted by phonographs.” ~Don Herold
"Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer should be replaced by a computer"