## Motion Math: Pizza!

April 18th, 2014 by Dan Meyer

I caught Motion Math’s latest game at their booth at NCTM. It’s pretty irresistible. Kids are in the pizza business. They get to name their pizzas whatever they want, create them with whatever ingredients they want, and sell them for whatever price they want. Then the game goes all Sim-like on the kid. Customers come in and start buying up pizzas. The student practices multiplication at the cash register. Eventually the day is done and the student tallies up her profit or loss.

The game builds in just enough market behavior to make it a fun introduction to running your own business but not so much market behavior you’re collecting W-9s from your employees or dealing with health inspectors. Customers get annoyed if you price your pizzas too high. You run out of pizzas if you price them too low. They request *new* ingredients, which you can go buy at the market.

It’s great math and great gameplay from one of my favorite game designers in math education. Highly recommended.

**Featured Tweet**

Thanks to the suggestion from @ddmeyer my daughter, my son, AND my wife have been playing Motion Math: Pizza! nonstop since yesterday.

— Scott Elias (@ScottElias) April 20, 2014

**Featured Comment**

This game is terrific, with plenty of variety and thoughtful math. There’s even work on unit rates available when a second vendor opens, and one is offering 20 sardines for $4 while the other offers 90 sardines for $20.

on 20 Apr 2014 at 7:59 am1 Bowen KerinsThis game is terrific, with plenty of variety and thoughtful math. There’s even work on unit rates available when a second vendor opens, and one is offering 20 sardines for $4 while the other offers 90 sardines for $20.

It’s like a way-better “Lemonade Stand”. Or, for TI-84 fans, a way better “DrugWars”.

on 21 Apr 2014 at 12:34 pm2 Megan SchmidtI had to give the pizzas the same name as their prices to make the math in my head easier. Great game. Interesting that the penguins want pineapple on their pizzas :)

on 21 Apr 2014 at 6:11 pm3 Kevin SmithLove this game. My 2nd grader figured out that he is better/quicker at counting by 5s and 10s so all of his pizzas are priced based on that. This has led to some really good conversations about counting strategies, fluency with basic facts, and mental math.

on 27 Apr 2014 at 7:16 pm4 Bowen KerinsThere’s even some rounds where instead of selling pizzas, people come in with offers:

“Will you sell me 5 Aaron pizzas for $23?”

Great stuff, active learning, friendly about errors. And yes, the penguins clearly should have asked for sardines and not pineapple.

on 30 Apr 2014 at 2:49 am5 David WeesI just saw this game at the Game Street Fair in NYC last weekend. It does look pretty good. I was hooked on it as was my 7 year old son.

The one question I have is; if a student doesn’t know how to do the arithmetic calculations, what feedback do they get? As far as I can tell, none, but I’m going to download the game for my son to our iPad and play-test it with him to confirm this.

If they do know how to do the simple arithmetic, then this game pushes them to be a bit faster. It also has a lot of opportunities for other types of mathematical thinking to arise, as Bowen has pointed out.

on 01 May 2014 at 5:51 pm6 Jacob KleinThank you Dan and everyone here who tried out our game!

David, you’re right. If you don’t calculate correctly, no pizza appears; that’s the only feedback. In general we prefer a mild response to errors, as opposed to big red x’s. Let me know if you have a suggestion for better feedback for this case.