For many kids, math can be a daunting subject. And many teachers agree: without fun, engaging tools to teach math, early learners—particularly students in Kindergarten to third grade—will struggle to understand the basic foundational concepts, leading to greater struggle grasping complicated theories down the road.
This is precisely the problem that caught the attention of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Vice President of Education and Digital Media, Andrew MacCartney and Director of Education, Laura Evans. Georgia educators expressed concern about their students struggling with the essential concept of “number sense”—the understanding of what numbers are and how they relate to one another. Their solution? Teaming up with FableVision Studios to create GASHA GO!, a colorful, engaging, and curriculum-based math game world!
GASHA GO! is the first in an expandable series of educational games and animation all set in a vibrant, cute, character-filled arcade. GASHA GO! features Mash, the mustachioed foreman, and his friends who need your help solving math problems to refill the toy capsules inside the gashapon machine.. The different modes of play let students use numbers in different contexts, such as word problems and counting. FableVision also created an original animated song arranged by Junior Joe about number sense and numeracy featuring the same lovable characters from GASHA GO! The video can be played separately or in tandem with the game.
Feedback and user-testing were essential in building this game. Two K-3 math teachers consulted as GPB’s experts, and provided insight on how these standards are taught in the classroom—and how they felt technology could be used to convey the lessons. Georgia first and second graders voted on their favorite character designs and suggested names. While we couldn’t accept all suggestions (sorry, “Chicken Master” and “Mr. Taco”), getting feedback from the students ensured we made something they would enjoy playing.
With characters so cute, they had to play an instrumental role in the hit song, Numbers: They Make Sense!. To help both parents and children get a high-level view of number sense and help round out the toy world, FableVision cooked up a short, catchy animated music video and song that was bound to be on repeat in your head! Written by in-house FableVision lyricist and Creative Director, Leigh Hallisey, the words and images in the music video demonstrated the many places you might find numbers, and the different ways the same number might look. By embedding this content into an energetic, fun music video filled with cute, dancing characters, math that was once daunting and confusing became colorful and engaging.
The rest of the arcade is currently under construction, getting ready for more games to join the universe. But in the meantime, leave your flashcards at home. Grab your tokens and tickets instead!
For More On Immersive Learning,
Join GPB and FableVision at SXSW EDU!
Join FableVision’s Peter Stidwill and Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Andrew MacCartney and Laura Evans as they discuss the intricacies and production process behind the award-winning Georgia Race Through Time game at SXSW EDU!
What: Immersive Learning: Teaching History Through GBL
When: March 5 at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Room 17B, Austin Convention Center