Greg Tang Math

at , Cambridge , 02238

Games that have high math density where every moment is spent calculating and thinking mathematically, not doing unrelated, non-educational activities often found in other games. These games are so fun they're addicting!

Greg Tang Math

Cambridge , MA 02238
United States
Contact Phone
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Four years ago, Greg Tang launched this website from a small coffee shop in Arlington, Massachusetts as a way to make his books, games, and teaching materials available to more students and teachers. Today, it is used by classrooms around the world to supplement their math curriculums and develop better computational and problem-solving skills. Every activity has been designed to teach a critical skill or strategy while providing the repetition and practice required for mastery. Most importantly, each stays true to the ideal that teaching and learning should be clever and fun. None of our games use non-math activities to incent students to play. The hook of every game is the math itself and students spend every second doing math. It is all math, all the time. Today, we are working harder than ever to improve our site. Soon, we'll be adding instructional videos, organizing more national events like our Winter Math Challenge and March MATHness Tournament, and adding multiplayer games that offer kids an exciting alternative to non-educational video and computer games. is an important part of Greg’s mission to help children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Since 2013, he has made his site free to everyone and continues to support it through his teaching and writing. We hope you and your students will continue to use and share our site both at school and at home.

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It takes Alcedes Escobar 15 sec to run the bases and score a run after the first pitch in the first game of the 2015 World Series. He ran 20 mph. What was the average time it took him get to each base?

Published Jessica Wasmer on 2015-10-28 00:45:32 GMT

My email isn't getting through to any of your "contact us" email addresses. Are they correct?

Published Bon Crowder on 2015-11-11 19:50:02 GMT

I am happy to announce that after several months of writing and re-writing code, we finally have 4 games on that are significantly better than any of our previous games. 1. Ten Frame Mania ( is the first game and it gives kids the incentive to create hundreds and I hope thousands of ten frames. It gives them practice counting all, counting on, counting back, skip counting, and thinking about expanded form – all in a game that is fun to play. 2. Math Limbo ( is finally the way I want it! In Learn mode, kids can practice both adding and decomposing numbers. Our addition problems are modeled discretely with fingers, dice, tally marks and ten frames to give kids a way to figure out answers when they don't know them. In Play mode, we use these discrete representations before moving kids to digits, and problems start with sums within 5, then 10, 15, 100 and finally 150. To represent time without using a clock, ropes break strand by strand to show the passing of time. 3. Kakooma ( has come a long, long way from the first version I created 10 years ago. We now have 3 versions – Practice, Compete, and Play. Kids who just want to practice can pick addition or multiplication, and puzzle sizes ranging from 4 numbers to 9 numbers. A timer can be toggled on if kids want to race the clock. Kids who enjoy competing against other players can now pick the puzzle size and either addition or multiplication. When another student is not available to play, kids are automatically matched with a computerized "kid" who will play at exactly their own level. I'm most excited to report that the PLAY version is great and I find myself playing Kakooma again, even when I'm supposed to be working! The early levels have easier puzzles and numbers even disappear in the early rounds to help kids when they are stuck. As kids progress, the levels become more and more difficult, and there is even a bonus round for students who beat Level 6. In this round, puzzles "pop" back so kids must truly have great number sense to beat this final round. In Kakooma, a rising and setting sun shows the passing of time. I love it! 4. Minus Mania ( was created because teachers in Blue Springs, Missouri told me their middle school students need more practice with negative numbers. Students start by plotting positive and negative numbers on both horizontal and vertical axes, then move to plotting numbers in a Cartesian plane. In higher levels, students must add and subtract positive and negative numbers before plotting them, and in the final level, they calculate coordinates from expressions that include absolute values of numbers as well. It's extremely challenging and I encourage you to give it a try. One Man's Opinion, Mine: If we want students to become fluent with facts and procedures, they need to do thousands of problems, not just a handful. I know too many well-known math educators who have taught computational strategies for 20 to 30 years, yet they themselves do not have great number sense and are not what I would consider fluent with either facts or procedures. Knowing strategies is not enough. Kids need lots and lots of practice. It is true that math is not just about computations, but you know what? When you're good with numbers and computations, your brain can dedicate more of its working memory to problem solving! I am on a mission to bring back the very American ideal that the way to get good at something is through a lot of practice and hard work. This notion that kids do not need lots and lots of practice to become fluent is crazy to me. I think drills that develop the right kind of thinking are essential. Professional athletes and musicians do drills every day to build the muscle memory they need. Kids in Singapore, Japan, and other high-performing countries do the same. Worksheets? How did they get a bad name? A bad worksheet is bad, just like a bad book is bad. We don't ban books because we read a few bad ones, we try to find better books! I think a worksheet that works and teaches the right strategies can be extremely helpful, and fun and challenging too! I try to create great, helpful drills and worksheets, and I also spend a ton of time and energy creating games and picture books that teach the skills and strategies I know kids need, and address the standards that will make them better, more capable problem-solvers as they grow older. Expect to see a lot more games and teaching materials from us in the future. My son Greg Jr. is creating a family of math games that make terrific math centers for both your classroom and for kids at home. My wife Tammy Worcester Tang ( is working on more creative and enjoyable ways to learn and practice word problems, and my programmers are working on code that will bring virtual reality to the teaching of math. We will have lots and lots to show you in the next few months! I am thankful every day for teachers and administrators who work so tirelessly to help our children. I wish you and your family a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving. Greg

Published Greg Tang Math on 2015-11-23 03:21:23 GMT

Our Greg Tang Math class centers arrived yesterday! So obviously several of our classes got right into them today. The reviews: "These are so much fun!" "The Tangs are so clever-awesome that I can play these whenever I want!" "Can I take these home with me for the long weekend?" "How does he come up with these ideas?" Oh, and the students loved them too!!!! Seriously, their enthusiasm was contagious-everyone was excited to play and compete and to do math!!! THANK YOU!

Published Susan Lukianov on 2015-11-26 00:29:30 GMT

Want your kids to stay sharp over the holidays? I designed a New Year's Math Challenge with a series of activities for each grade level that builds on the Halloween and Thanksgiving Challenges. It develops specific skills and targets important standards. Hope you'll join the fun:

Published Greg Tang Math on 2015-12-16 18:40:38 GMT

Today, I worked with 1st graders in Hill City, Kansas. Should kids enjoy solving math problems and feel like celebrating when they do? Small successes are the path to big ones later in life. When you're a kid, maybe they are all worth celebrating!

Published Greg Tang Math on 2015-12-18 19:18:35 GMT

Sixth grade student: I wonder if we will have a winter challenge. Wait, what am I saying? Knowing Greg, he has it done already!

Published Susan Lukianov on 2015-12-20 23:52:26 GMT

I am happy to announce that our new game NumTanga is now live at! Refresh your browser to see it on our games page: Level 1. Kids practice with 4 different representations of the numbers 0-10, 15 and 20. We use digits, words, ten frames, and fingers. Level 2. Kids practice with the numbers 11-29 using digits, words, base 10 blocks, and expanded form. Level 3. Kids practice with the numbers 30-99 using digits, words, base 10 discs, and expanded form. It is so important for students to transition from base 10 blocks which are sized proportionally to their value, to base 10 discs which are all the same size and not sized proportionally to their value. In life, many symbols we use are not proportional to their values. Dimes are smaller than pennies, but they have a greater value. A two in the ten’s place has a greater value than a two in the one’s place, but we write both twos the same size in the number 22. In algebra, the variable X can represent 5 or 500, but it is the same size regardless of its value. Level 4. We switch to money and students have to work with 4 different representations of amounts up to $1. For example: fifty cents, $.50, 50¢, picture of 2 quarters. Level 5. We switch to fractions and students have to work with 4 different representations of fractions less than 1. We show fractions as: numbers (1/2, 4/5), words (one-fourth, five-eighths), fractions of a set (rectangles), and fractions of a whole (circle). Level 6. We switch to measurement and students must work with standard units of measure as well as the metric system. They will learn important conversions within a measurement system (12 inches = 1 foot, 1000 meters = 1 kilometer) as well as abbreviations (mile = mi, milligrams = mg). Within each of the 6 levels there are 3 rounds and each round gets progressively more challenging. My goal is to use games to get kids to do thousands of problems so they become fluent in the basic skills they need. If you like NumTanga and are interested in the playing card version of it, check out my son’s store page: He has 3 versions as card games for math centers (they correspond to Levels 1, 4 and 5). Hope 2016 is a happy and healthy year for you and everyone you know! Greg

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-01-05 07:43:31 GMT

We are working hard to make math more fun for your students in both big and small ways. Big ways include my son creating math centers and games ( that target specific standards and important skills. A small way is by posting pictures and videos of your students playing our math games right on our homepage. If you think your students will enjoy seeing themselves learning, practicing and enjoying my games, tweet a picture or video @gregtangmath. I will do my best to post it. I love seeing kids smiling and excited about MATH!

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-01-25 00:53:23 GMT

Do children understand how big 100 is? Typically, our concrete model for 100 is the Base 10 block called a "flat" and on paper we use a hundred chart. The problem with both of these representations is that they are 2-dimensional models and it is hard to understand size in 2 dimensions. A 1-dimensional model is much better for building number sense, which is why we use number lines with whole numbers and switch to defining the whole as the distance between 0 and 1 on the number line when comparing fractions in 3rd grade. What's the best way to show how big 100 really is? Use a linear model like Math Specialist Yvonne Pan from Beebe Elementary in Naperville, IL. Her kids lined up unifix cubes end to end in the photo below. Great! I originally thought they were Cuisenaire Rods – bad eyesight – and those would work too. I always suggest to teachers to have their kids put the Base 10 rods end to end to show 100, then compare what they have to the "one" or "tiny cube." That's a more effective visual model for seeing the difference between 1 and 100 then comparing the tiny cube to a 2-dimensional "flat." How big is 1,000? Comparing the large, Base 10 cube to the tiny cube doesn't convey how big 1,000 really is because now kids have to think in 3 dimensions. A better visual comparison would be to line up 100 rods end to end and compare that to a tiny cube! To connect this idea to measurement, it would be great to put a mark on a long wall in your room that represents zero. Then draw a mark or bar of length 1 based on the size of the tiny cube, a mark or bar for 10 based on the rod, a mark or bar for 100 based on ten rods, and finally a mark or bar for 1,000 based on 100 rods. If you use marks, it would be like a huge ruler. If you use bars, it would be a giant bar model or tape diagram! Seeing the 1 to 100 and 1 to 1,000 comparison just once isn't enough. I think seeing it many times is what kids need to truly understand the relative size of these numbers. Intermediate marks of 5, 50, 500 and others might also be helpful. Kids would literally see that 5 is half of 10, 50 is half of 100, 500 is half of 1,000 and so on. Tip of the week: use linear models to develop number sense. Thinking in 1 dimension is easier than thinking in 2. Hope everyone has a great weekend! Greg

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-01-29 22:41:38 GMT

Yes! Math Coach Frances Yang had 1st graders at Bacich Elementary in Kentfield, CA learning and seeing for themselves how big numbers are by using a linear model just as I described in my post below. Grape minds think alike! Activities like this don't just teach – they allow kids to play and try things and explore and crawl around on the floor and do all the things kids are supposed to do. They are kids after all! I also like that the rods are lined up along the edge of the desk in one of the pictures. The rods are of different sizes so the total length could be calculated (purple is 4, yellow is 5, etc), or kids could use rods that are all the same color/size and talk about units. We need kids to do more measuring and we can even start talking about rounding at a young age and whether, for example, something is closer to being 5 units long or 4 units long. We can also talk about whether the size of the unit matters. When measuring the same object, if the unit is smaller, there will be more of them. If the unit is larger, there will be fewer of them. What does this sound like? Unit fractions maybe? When the size of each part is smaller (denominator is larger), there are more of these parts in the whole. Conversely, when the size of each part is larger (denominator is smaller), there are fewer of these parts in the whole. Laying the groundwork for important concepts needs to start early and seeing and making connections is everything!

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-02-03 22:12:21 GMT

I have been to Larned, KS twice to work with teachers and they have joined me for PD in Wichita and at Math Plus. Check out their bar modeling story: Greg, Here is a story from my 2nd grade classroom in Larned, Kansas that I thought you might appreciate. While labeling the parts of a model for a comparison problem, a very sweet and hard working 2nd grade girl exclaims "Mr. Gingerich, you forgot the F-in' difference. After my eyes returned to regular size and I gathered myself, I looked at the board to see that I had omitted an f in the word difference. I had, in fact, forgotten the "f" in difference. Thanks for all your hard work. It's made a huge difference (two f's) in our room. -Jared Gingerich

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-02-05 15:26:06 GMT

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! It’s definitely a day of mixed emotions for many. I remember holidays being hard for me for many years after I became single. If you’re single and looking, stay positive! 4 years ago, I shared a rental car with another speaker at a conference and 3 months later Tammy and I were married. Love really does happen when you least expect it. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “He’s turning into one of those old guys who talks too much.” You’re right! I’m happy to report we have finished another new game – this time for our K-1 kids and struggling learners. NumTanga Jr slowly and systematically teaches students the numbers 1-20 using different representations including digits, fingers, ten frames, Base 10 blocks, and words. I hope your students will give it a try, and if you have any feedback or comments, please send them along. I welcome your thoughts and will do whatever I can to make our games better and more helpful. One more thing and I will stop talking. is approaching 23 million page views and we’d like to celebrate. The first 3 people to post on my Facebook page a screen capture showing 23,000,000 or more page views will win one of my son’s new class kits ( Good luck!

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-02-14 22:56:51 GMT

Congrats to our 3 winners: Angie Hensley Secrest, Sabrina Stowers McQuerry, Mitzi Glasgow. Email us your mailing address and my son will send you your classroom kits! We will have another contest for 24 million page views and a big prize for 25 million page views. Details to come!

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-02-15 03:21:16 GMT

Learned so much today!

Published Maureen Winkler on 2016-02-15 17:15:45 GMT

Soaring Heights Charter School in Jersey City is one of the schools I am committed to helping. I've been going there for 4 years now. They got their state test scores back and are well above state averages in math at every grade level. Incredibly dedicated teachers and administrators. We run math nights every fall and parents and kids love them!

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-02-24 04:25:27 GMT

Happy Nevada Reading Week!

Published Andrew Ginster on 2016-03-03 18:49:47 GMT

My son was so happy to see you today at his school in East Lyme CT. He forgot to get your autograph. How can he get one from you?

Published Roberta J Madole on 2016-03-04 23:52:28 GMT

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-03-21 16:06:52 GMT

Greg Tang Math working with Grs. 2 & 3 expanded notation to understand place value.

Published Canadian International School of Hong Kong on 2016-03-23 03:38:56 GMT

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-03-24 21:01:55 GMT

Are you looking for a fun way for your students to learn the value of money? Try our new game COIN BUBBLE: There are 5 Levels: Penny, Nickel, Dime, Quarter, and Dollar. We use 4-frames to group quarters and 10-frames to group the rest. Kids naturally learn to transition from counting and skip counting to grouping coins and dollars in smart ways. What's a quick way to make 18¢ with just dimes and pennies? 2 dimes minus 2 pennies. What about $3.75 with just quarters? Click the dollar bill 4 times and subtract a quarter. Kids will get lots and lots of practice using different combinations of coins and bills. All in a fun, challenging, and math-smart way! In designing my games, I have 3 principles I try to follow. First, I make sure my games have high math density – they are all math all the time. What will your students be doing every second they are playing my games? They will be thinking and doing math in smart ways. I include exactly zero non-math activities in my games. Second, I try to design games that fill a specific need. Many teachers have told me that their kids struggle with money, so we created Coin Bubble. I also know kids do too much counting and skip counting, and working with money offers an ideal opportunity to use ten frames and grouping strategies to teach more effective ways to think about numbers. Finally, I believe strongly in giving every child the opportunity to practice and improve their skills. For as long as I am able, I will spend the necessary resources to create new games and provide them for free. I hope you will give my new game a try. If you like it, help us spread the word so more kids might benefit. Thanks for all you do and I hope you have a great rest of the year! Greg

Published Greg Tang Math on 2016-05-03 02:45:30 GMT

"Bonding" with Greg Tang in Natick, MA!

Published Kate Swadel Couture on 2016-05-09 14:39:52 GMT

I have a student who loves math so much, he decided to write about it during our poetry writing unit. Greg Tang time! Lets log on and have a MULTIPLACATION MELTDOWN! Greg Tang time! Lets log on and have a DIVISION DILEMMA! Greg Tang time! Lets log on and have a FUNKY FRACTION! Greg Tang time! Lets log on and have a ADDITION ACTION! Greg Tang time! Lets log on and have a SUBTRACTION SUBZERO! Greg Tang time! Lets log on and have a FACT FANANZA!! by Joshua (Blue Springs)

Published Lisa Miceli on 2016-05-14 00:26:55 GMT

This looks fantastic! I was only today raving about how much I love Greg Tang Math!

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