Why math?

Mathematics is all around us! Whether looking at mortgage options, using a map, renovating our home or simply budgeting for the food shop, we are using our math skills.

Unfortunately, many people feel anxious or struggle when dealing with mathematical concepts necessary for everyday life. Funexpected Math is here to help our future generations conquer this anxiety. Because the more you understand math, the less you fear it!

Unfortunately, many people feel anxious or struggle when dealing with mathematical concepts necessary for everyday life. Funexpected Math is here to help our future generations conquer this anxiety. Because the more you understand math, the less you fear it!

Why start so early?

The earlier you start understanding math, the better. Many current educational and developmental studies confirm [1] the positive impact of early math education on overall academic performance: kids who perform well in math at an early age tend to do well at school in both STEM and science fields. Furthermore, proficient math students are shown to have more success in the job market. Math is a really long term investment!

So, it's all about numbers?

Not exactly. Math is a broad and beautiful subject but it is not just about counting. Looking at the standard curriculum, you will hardly believe that it contains anything besides numbers. But Geometry, Combinatorics, Logic and Algorithms are no less important! Even solving purely computational problems requires elementary logic and primary geometric intuition. A deep understanding of numbers isn't possible without this basis. Only 30% of our games deal with numbers but 100% of them teach math!

What about fun?

As you may guess from our name, fun is the most important element of understanding math! Many people nowadays suffer from math anxiety: research shows [2] that the problem can start as early as at 5-6 years! The fear of giving the wrong answer causes uncertainty and failure, and kids can fall into a vicious circle of self-doubt.

However, there is evidence [3] that it has nothing to do with their capabilities in math! To break this attitude, we introduce and master math concepts in a fun and enthralling way. Kids can solve much more complex problems while playing an exciting game than in a standard environment. The possibility to visualise math concepts and feel them through physical perceptions leads to better understanding and self-confidence.

However, there is evidence [3] that it has nothing to do with their capabilities in math! To break this attitude, we introduce and master math concepts in a fun and enthralling way. Kids can solve much more complex problems while playing an exciting game than in a standard environment. The possibility to visualise math concepts and feel them through physical perceptions leads to better understanding and self-confidence.

And what do researchers say?

Many current educational and developmental studies confirm the importance of early math education on cognitive development and overall academic performance. Research shows that early math knowledge is a stronger signifier of later school success than fluent reading abilities [4]. It reveals that the most powerful learning a child experiences is in math learned via visual approaches [5]. Joy and enthusiasm are essential for learning to happen — there is a study that identifies the brain pathway that links a positive attitude towards math to achievement in the subject [6]. Training spatial skills enhances numerical abilities [7] and patterning skills predicts preschoolers math knowledge [8].

References

1. Tyler W. Watts, Greg J. Duncan, Robert S. Siegler and Pamela E. Davis-KeanWhat's (2014) Past Is Prologue: Relations Between Early Mathematics Knowledge and High School Achievement. Educational Researcher 43: 352

2. Harari Rachel, Vukovic Rose, Bailey Sean (2013) Mathematics Anxiety in Young Children: An Exploratory Study, The Journal of Experimental Education 81:538

3. Amy Devine, Francesca Hill, Emma Carey and Dénes Szűcs (2017) Cognitive and emotional math problems largely dissociate: Prevalence of developmental dyscalculia and mathematics anxiety.

4. Duncan GJ, Dowsett CJ, Claessens A, Magnuson K, Huston AC, Klebanov P, Pagani LS, Feinstein L, Engel M, Brooks-Gunn J, Sexton H, Duckworth K, Japel C (2007) School readiness and later achievement. Developmental Psychology, 43 (6) pp. 1428−1446.

5. Jo Boaler, Lang Chen, Cathy Williams and Montserrat Cordero (2016) Seeing as Understanding: The Importance of Visual Mathematics for our Brain and Learning. J Appl Computat Math 5:325.

6. Lang, Chen & Bae, Se & Battista, Christian & Qin, Shaozheng & Chen, Tianwen & Evans, Tanya & Menon, Vinod. (2018) Positive Attitude Toward Math Supports Early Academic Success: Behavioral Evidence and Neurocognitive Mechanisms. Psychological Science, 29(1).

7. Yi-Ling Cheng & Kelly S. Mix (2014) Spatial Training Improves Children's Mathematics Ability, Journal of Cognition and Development, 15:1, 2-11, DOI: 10.1080/15248372.2012.725186

8. Zippert, E., Clayback, K. & Rittle-Johnson, B. (in press). Not Just IQ: Patterning Predicts Preschoolers' Math Knowledge Beyond Fluid Reasoning. Journal of Cognition & Development.

1. Tyler W. Watts, Greg J. Duncan, Robert S. Siegler and Pamela E. Davis-KeanWhat's (2014) Past Is Prologue: Relations Between Early Mathematics Knowledge and High School Achievement. Educational Researcher 43: 352

2. Harari Rachel, Vukovic Rose, Bailey Sean (2013) Mathematics Anxiety in Young Children: An Exploratory Study, The Journal of Experimental Education 81:538

3. Amy Devine, Francesca Hill, Emma Carey and Dénes Szűcs (2017) Cognitive and emotional math problems largely dissociate: Prevalence of developmental dyscalculia and mathematics anxiety.

4. Duncan GJ, Dowsett CJ, Claessens A, Magnuson K, Huston AC, Klebanov P, Pagani LS, Feinstein L, Engel M, Brooks-Gunn J, Sexton H, Duckworth K, Japel C (2007) School readiness and later achievement. Developmental Psychology, 43 (6) pp. 1428−1446.

5. Jo Boaler, Lang Chen, Cathy Williams and Montserrat Cordero (2016) Seeing as Understanding: The Importance of Visual Mathematics for our Brain and Learning. J Appl Computat Math 5:325.

6. Lang, Chen & Bae, Se & Battista, Christian & Qin, Shaozheng & Chen, Tianwen & Evans, Tanya & Menon, Vinod. (2018) Positive Attitude Toward Math Supports Early Academic Success: Behavioral Evidence and Neurocognitive Mechanisms. Psychological Science, 29(1).

7. Yi-Ling Cheng & Kelly S. Mix (2014) Spatial Training Improves Children's Mathematics Ability, Journal of Cognition and Development, 15:1, 2-11, DOI: 10.1080/15248372.2012.725186

8. Zippert, E., Clayback, K. & Rittle-Johnson, B. (in press). Not Just IQ: Patterning Predicts Preschoolers' Math Knowledge Beyond Fluid Reasoning. Journal of Cognition & Development.