Where kids don’t even realise they’re learning maths!
Imagine a magical world where children meet with fun characters who teach them how to think mathematically through everyday problems and activities. This world is Mathazone Forest. In Mathazone Forest, each character has their own unique character which embodies essential mathematical concepts and they each encounter numerous problems in their everyday lives which they need help to solve. Once children enter this world they become friends with the characters and want to do whatever they can to help them. Through these characters and their stories, songs, puppets, games and activities children are introduced to a multitude of mathematical concepts without even realising it.
In Mathazone Forest the main characters are all neighbours who live on Number Street. Just as we all have an address in real life with neighbours on each side, so do the Mathazone characters. In this way, children are introduced to the concept of a number line in a way that is familiar and non-threatening to them. Each character lives in a house that reflects his or her personality. Mr1, for example, lives in a very small house. He doesn’t need a big house because he likes to only have one of everything – one armchair, one lamp, one table etc., in his house. Each character also has a favourite colour and a favourite shape. Mr1’s favourite shapes, for example, are any shapes that can be drawn by starting at one dot and finishing at the same dot – such as circles and ovals. Of course his favourite colour is also one of the primary colours – red.
Each character has their own story which is full of mathematical concepts. As the children help the characters solve the problems in the story they are introduced to mathematical concepts in the right order and in a way that is meaningful to them. One of the great things about Mathazone is that it is truly a cross-curricular approach so it engages children who have different learning styles. They are introduced to mathematics through music, games, art and design, science and drama until they are completely immersed in the Mathazone Forest throughout the school curriculum!
Mathematics is the universal language of thinking. We use mathematics every time we think, plan and make decisions. We’re basically using mathematics whenever we use our brains, which is pretty often! When you think about it this way you can appreciate how essential it is for young children to be introduced to mathematics in the right way so they can use it correctly throughout their lives. When we look at the world around us we can generally see two types of people – problem makers and problem solvers. I think we can all agree that we would like to raise a generation of problem solvers. Mathazone Forest will help our children to think more critically, logically and rationally. Not only will they be more successful in mathematics academically but their increased capacity for rational thinking will help them be more successful in their everyday lives too.