What is Max & Min Maths Club?
Max & Min Maths Club is a website that uses 140 colourful short animated videos, each with an online quiz and printable coloured chart, to help teach the entire Australian Foundation (Kindergarten/Prep/Pre-Primary/Reception/Transition) to Year 6 Mathematics Curriculum. The animated videos revolve around the everyday activities of young twins Max and Min and their family and friends. Young students at every ability level can build their Maths confidence and understanding by regularly using Max & Min Maths Club resources. It’s like having a very patient Maths tutor available any time, any place, to help.
Why did you create Max & Min Maths Club?
I started teaching Maths in the early 1980’s and continued teaching Maths throughout that decade. From the 1990’s I worked as an Eco Architect designing passive solar and energy-efficient homes. From 2010, I resumed teaching junior high school Maths and I was immediately struck by the drop in standards from my previous experience. Many more students had low Maths confidence and were struggling with even the basic concepts presented to them earlier in Primary school. It has been well documented in recent years that national NAPLAN numeracy results have flat-lined from year to year, despite the billions of dollars injected into our schools, and the many dollars spent by parents on private tutors. At the same time, we are all being told that proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) is becoming more and more important for future employment security for our children, and for national advancement.
As a mathematician, teacher and designer, I wanted to work on creative solutions. I decided, with the help of my family, to do something to help young children build their Maths confidence and understanding, before entering high school, and Max & Min Maths Club was born. And fortunately, all is not lost for our high schoolers – they can also use Max & Min Maths Club to re-visit, re-learn and reinforce the basic Maths that will help them improve their high school Maths results.
How is Max & Min Maths Club different to other Maths websites?
As a Maths teacher in recent years I became familiar with most of the Maths websites used by Australian students. These sites mostly focus on providing games and repetitive exercises to help reinforce previous Maths learning. Repetitive exercises and games are definitely a good thing to consolidate learning, but some of these sites presume a pre-existing level of Maths understanding and ability that many, if not most, students do not have.
In my experience and those of other Maths teachers and parents I have spoken with, these websites often appeal to and work well for the top Maths students, but many other students get left behind or even lose heart by their inability to complete or compete, because most of these these sites usually do not have a strong focus on helping students understand the Maths behind the activities and exercises.
Max & Min Maths Club focuses on helping students understand and become comfortable with numbers before learning what to do with them. It uses colourful animations to keep the students engaged, not adult video presentations that students generally find unappealing. And each Quiz attached to every Video literally talks to the student so that they become familiar with the language of Mathematics. Max & Min Maths Club starts with the very basics and gradually moves forward at the student’s pace, building Maths confidence along the way. As stated above, it really is like having a very patient Maths tutor available any time, any place, to help.