Feedback from school children in Helsinki participating in the MATHINA focus groups
Summed up by Kerry Osborne who coordinated the focus groups.
Grades 1 and 2 particularly liked that Mathina was the ‘hero’ and that her logical thinking was the thing which allowed them to solve the tiled floor challenge.
One student who said he felt confident in his maths ability but not so much so with his reading ability, liked the idea of having maths in a story to help him to better follow along with a story.
The students drew attention to the difference between Leo and his impulsive, quick to act, nature and Mathina and her ready to listen and think first, before proceeding nature. It brought out a nice discussion on how when we speak of ‘human nature’ it is natural to see each person has within themselves pieces which come more readily/naturally, and we can be assisted by our friends when we act together to solve puzzles.
Mathina’s name was enjoyed even further when Grade 2 noticed the word ‘Math’ was inside her name.
Mathina, it was noticed, was sometimes a bit forceful or bossy towards Leo.
I think the illustrations were too old-fashioned … and a few concurring voices, then countered with a: I liked them, I thought they suited the story.
Feedback during the multiplier event:
I find that the style of illustration is perfect because it gives the right time to perceive and understand concepts, and also it connects to human abilities and emotions, going deeper in comparison with images that children and teens are used to watch in the digital fast 3D world.
This was definitely worth staying awake until 2 AM to learn about. (remark from another time zone)
It is really a great idea to introduce math to children!
I can see kids learning and having fun.