Meet the Team: The Designers

Name:  Dan Nolan
Role on the NGPM team:

Lead Designer… I’ll be making stuff, like buttons and arrows, and I’ll be making sure kids are having fun and learning about math when they play these games.

My favorite thing about preschool is…

Gluing things together! Especially things that don’t usually go together like crayons and blocks.

If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say…

How many are there? No don’t count!

In addition to Next Generation Preschool Math, NGPM also stands for…

Next Generation PIONEERS of Math (and technology)

 

Name:  Frank LeClair
Role on the NGPM team:
Designer

My favorite thing about preschool is…

When I was in preschool, my favorite thing was totally nap time and the sand box. However, now that I’m all grown up, I see that the real beauty of preschool is in the students themselves. Because the preschool environment is less obligatory, the students really have the opportunity to discover and investigate at their own will. Of course they’re young so they do need guidance, but it’s in that moment of discovery when a student makes a new connection that the real significance of preschool is evident.

If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say…

Hi Little buddy, Subitizing is when you see a group of objects and you can say how many objects there are without having to count each individual item.

In addition to Next Generation Preschool Math, NGPM also stands for…

Nice Goin’ Prehistoric Man

 

Name:  Chi-Yun Lau

Role on the NGPM team:
Does Art Monkey count? Barring that, how about gameplay and art asset designer.

My favorite thing about preschool is…
The anticipation of sending my child there next year 

If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say…
It’s a necessary skill you need to learn in order to better sort your Pokemon (if kids still play Pokemon)

In addition to Next Generation Preschool Math, NGPM also stands for…
Um… No Gorillas Peeling Mangoes?
 

Meet the Team: The Developers

 Name: Jolin Yim (not to be confused with my name twin – J.O. (Jillian Orr))

Role on the NGPM team: Developer – the person who makes the awesome fun games.

My favorite thing about preschool is… Nap Time!!

If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say… When I hold up two fingers and you immediately think of the number 2.
In addition to Next Generation Preschool Math, NGPM also stands for… The National Generous Persons Movement – where everyone is nice to everyone.
Any other comments? I love doing research (*ahem* playing games) for this project!

Name:  Kevin!

Role on the NGPM team: Developer


Meet the Team: The Producers

 
Name: Christine Zanchi 

Role on the NGPM team: Chief Possibility Officer

My favorite thing about preschool is… Play-doh, finger paints and nap time.

If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say… Group it and scoop it!

In addition to Next Generation Preschool Math, NGPM also stands for...Nerdy Group Playing Monkey games

 


Name:
Jillian Orr

Role on the NGPM team: Project manager– Helping out the team in any way I’m able

My favorite thing about preschool is… The hilarious and adorable children!

If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say… “subitizing” means “how many you can see right away”

In addition to Next Generation Preschool Math, NGPM also stands for... “Now, go play more!”

Any more comments? It’s a pleasure to be able to work so closely with the Education team here at WGBH as well as the researchers from SRI and EDC. Everyone working on this project is extremely talented and is working so hard to make sure that we produce the best — most educational and most fun — assets. The team is in it for all the right reasons, and that makes for a fantastic experience overall. The team rocks!

 


Name:
Anna Ho

Role on the NGPM team: As the team intern, I support various aspects of the project. I also provide my expertise on all things cute and silly.

My favorite thing about preschool is… playing pretend. Imagination is the superpower of all preschoolers.

If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say… subitizing is when you look at something and know right away how many there are– without having to count! It’s another great preschool superpower.

In addition to Next Generation Preschool Math, NGPM also stands for... Nap? Gotta Play Math!

Meet the Team: Education Outreach


Name:
Sonja Latimore

Role on the NGPM team: help to conceptualize the overall project, with particular focus on the online teacher’s guide educational content and offline student materials

My favorite thing about preschool is… The kids are adorable, wide open, honest, and smart as a whip

If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say… how many here, QUICK!

 Any other comments? I’m excited to be involved with this innovative educational tech project. Will learn a lot about integrating tech into preschool and develop new skills for the future

 

Name: Elly Schottman

Role on the NGPM team: To suggest off-line classroom activities (playground games, snack time and learning center activities, read-aloud books, etc. that support the math learning goals of the tablet games (subitizing and equipartionining). To create manuscript for the online TG, giving teachers the information and tools they need to use the online and offline activities we provide, to help kids get the most out of these resources, and to monitor the kids’ understanding and progress. And in general, to brainstorm and collaborate with the rest of the NGPM team.

My favorite thing about preschool is… There is good stuff to play with people who are interested in playing with you.

If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say… It’s a big word that mean “Look quick and tell me how many things you see!” For example, when I hold up my fingers like this, how many fingers do you see?

 In addition to Next Generation Math, NGPM also stands for… Nearly Global Psychic Meltdown? No Good Parents mantra? No Growth Population Movement?

 

Name: Mary Haggerty

Role on the NGPM team: As the Manager for Educational Outreach, I selected our Massachusetts pilot sites in Lawrence and Worcester, and am responsible for maintaining communication with center directors, teacher trainers, and classroom teachers. I would also say that a second role for me on NGPM is that of student. This initiative is a real learning experience for me in terms of math concepts, and how digital media can accelerate children’s learning.

My favorite thing about preschool is… children’s positivity. They are so eager to learn and explore.

 
If I had to explain subitizing to a four-year old, I would say…

“Subitizing” was a new term for me, and the way it was explained to me was quite simple: it’s the ability to quickly look at a group of objects and know how many objects make up that group. So, I would explain it to a four-year-old in similar simple terms. I’d probably demonstrate subitizing with a four-year-old as a way to explain the term.

 
 In addition to Next Generation Math, NGPM also stands for…

Couldn’t think of anything clever, so I decided to do a Google search of “NGPM” to see how other groups are using the acronym. The search came up with 99,900 results in  0.43 seconds. One result: “Nested Grid Particle Mesh,” which I’m told is a cosmology algorithm used to study gravitational instability, sounds interesting.

iPad meets Preschooler

This week the team took our stack of iPad 2s out into the preschool world, and introduced the tablets to a lively group of children in Worcester, MA. We knew that the children would enjoy interacting with the tablets, but we did not expect them to adapt to the touch interface with such gusto. The multi-sensory experiences afforded by the tablets seemed to be right up their alley!

The NGPM team is still in the process of exploring how the interactive media experience will fit into the overall classroom experience, but one thing is clear, the power of the touch interface is that children can be the captains of their learning experience with little to no training. Can you imagine that feeling of dashing off onto the high seas, spurred only by your curiosity and a fearless spirit of adventure? Sure, it’s quite a risky maneuver, but imagine the payoff when you finally realize for yourself where it is you’re going!

Though it’s not recommended for daily use, here are some ways you can experience the iPad like a preschooler:

1) First things first, never worry about rules or instructions. If you don’t know what to do, try to figure it out. That’s the fun part!
2) Tap anything that catches your fancy.
3) If something cool happens, show your friends.
4) If nothing happens, just move on and find something else that catches your fancy.
5). Tap, swipe, or drag without fear of consequences. The worst that can happen is that you have to restart.
6) Still can’t figure out how to play a game? No problem. Make your own rules.
7) Clean hands are optional.
8) Last, but not least, take the time to marvel at all the exciting little things you’ve seen, learned, and done.

 

– Anna the NGPM Intern

NGPM Kick-Off Meeting

As Jillian and Tacita would say,”Fist-bump ~ Jellyfish”!

Today marks the official team kick-off meeting for NGPM, Next Generation Preschool Math.

In a nutshell, the NGPM Project involves the development of a supplementary prek math curriculum that harnesses the power of digital media, teacher presence, and student-centered learning. This four-year long project is a collaborative endeavor of WGBH Interactive Kids, WGBH Education Outreach, and researchers from the EDC and SRI.

This blog is an informal space for the NGPM Project team to capture the various happenings over the course of this project. There will surely be tons of stories and artifacts to capture, but first things first.

All interested parties in the NGPM project must learn the team fist-bump.

How to do the the Fist bump ~ Jellyfish.

Step 1: Bump fists.

Step 2: Wiggle fingers as if they were the arms of a jellyfish.