The idea for Math Stackers evolved at the same time I was questioning my 8th grade students’ lack of interest and defeatist attitude towards mathematics. I couldn’t help but to ponder what had eluded these kids for so many years that they felt this way; and more so, how could I change their attitudes? How could I inspire them to fall in love with math?
Years later the answer became clear. They did not understand how to use the properties of the operations. They did not see math as a method of thinking, organizing and manipulating values; as a gateway to being problem solvers. What they experienced were numerous abstract concepts with no tangible way to solve the problem. This left them vulnerable, helpless and scared to start the journey toward discovery because the risk of failure loomed too great.
This desire to inspire a love for math was a journey that needed to start as early in a child’s education as possible. Math needed to be presented as a tangible game that could be manipulated, explored, organized and broken apart. It needed to be fun and interactive and something that encouraged kids to take risks while eliminating the consequences. It needed to demonstrate that there are often numerous ways to solve a problem, and the fun lay in investigating those solutions through hands-on, playful discovery.
Math Stackers is a toy for children but an essential classroom tool for educators. While your students may become intimidated when solving math problems with pencil and paper, those same problems come to life through the hands-on investigations they encounter when playing with Math Stackers.
Let’s inspire our students to fall in love with math and change the world with their beautiful minds!