I am working on an adding game for very young kids (2 to 4 year olds). It is based on counting on fingers. Children learn how to add quickly if they start to recognize their hand and finger positions. For instance, children that are good at adding don't need to count if they see three fingers on one hand, they just know it's three. Similarly, it is beneficial for a budding child's faster math skills, for him or her to knows that a full hand of five fingers and the other hand with three is eight, without counting. This game is designed such that the child gets a lot of practice with associating finger positions with the appropriate numbers.

Here are a few games for physics for review...

For Grade 11 physics (Physics 20 in Alberta):


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One of my friends has a three year old daughter.  The girl goes to daycare.  My friend recently asked me if it would be beneficial for her to go to preschool as well as her daycare.  In her mind, I'm the authority on this kind of stuff, since I have four children, and they all went through some kind of childcare before they went to school.  Here is what my children did:

My oldest son: 


For a long time I really didn't understand how people learn.    Since I am a teacher I see people learning all the time.  How is it that some students understand what I am talking about when teaching them math, while others can't, or are only aware of it on the surface, or just pretend to understand at all.  After a while, I wasn't satisfied with no explanation, so I decided to go back to school, and tackle this question.  Every course I took, every article I read, every discussion I had during the course of my Masters, brought me closer to a full picture of how people learn.  Here is the my model of learning:

As children are exposed to many environmental stimuli they make millions of connections in their brain.  The more they are exposed to certain situations, the signal travels through those neurons and they get stronger, while the ones that are not used as much get weaker and after a while those weak connections are cut or "pruned". 

An example of this would be the different sounds an English versus Spanish native speaker recognizes


How does this work?

(If you can't see the above video, try this link:

On March 14 (Pi Day) the Hexa-Trex Puzzle App is coming out. Please take a look and download it. Let me know what you think!

Over the past several months my husband and I have been working on this project, to create the app. Changing the puzzle into an app was a no-brainer. The Hexa-Trex puzzle, if you haven't tried it yet, is all about choosing the right pathway through tiles to get a correct equation (try some here: And what better way to figure out the pathway than to swipe your finger over tiles on your iPad. The moment I got myself an iPad, I imagined my Hexa-Trex puzzles in app format. I had the design clear in my head... but now I just had to transform my image from my mind into reality.

Although my husband loves to program, with full time jobs and four small boys at home, we decided that the best way to approach this creative process was to hire a team of programmers to code the app. We decided on all parts of the design, but the coding was done by the programmers from Romania. It was a very interesting process. All the communication between us and the programmers was through email. And with the time difference (we live in Calgary, so it's about 8h time difference), only one email per day was possible. But whatever we asked for, all the ideas we had, were pretty much reflected in the programming. The programmers did exactly what we wanted in a reasonable amount of time, given our slow responses, and the communication difficulties. Although the process took longer than expected, I am very happy with the final product.

So on Thursday, if you have a bit of spare time on your hands, download the Hexa-Trex Puzzle app and try out the puzzles. Then write me a little note, letting me know what you think.