Izak9’s global appeal
It is magnificent that Izak9 is being so widely used throughout the island of Ireland, not only to help raise standards in the teaching and learning of mathematics in the classroom, but also as a mechanism for delivering highly interactive teacher development training. Couple this with the fact that the use of Izak9’s skill based approach is supporting initiatives around pupil transition from primary to secondary phases as well as supporting shared education programmes in NI, it is easy to see how Izak9 is now being perceived as a hugely versatile and exportable teaching and learning resource that can be used within the framework of any maths curriculum.
Izak9 in BOSTON
We made a trip to Boston a few weeks ago as part of an Ireland North West delegation. For us this trip was about introducing the Izak9 concept and associated pedagogy at a variety of levels. We were most certainly very well received by political leaders, universities, colleges, schools, in fact by all educational stakeholders, but what we wanted most was to gauge the response of American children to using Izak9. We could go on at length to explain how wonderful a time these children had with Izak9 and the extent to which they enjoyed the 3 math tasks we completed together, but the picture below tells that story for us. We are most certainly looking forward to a return visit to Massachusetts in the spring. An added bonus was that Mayor Martin Walsh’s alma mater Newman College, immediately snapped up both our demonstration cubes for their own students, making the College our first official US user.
Izak9 in other languages
Due to the faces of Izak9 cubes only being populated by combinations of colour, number and shape and the fact that our animated online facilitators Abacus and Helix are fluent in many languages, Izak9 can be used by children from all over the world. These Chinese children came to visit a school in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland. Here’s what the class teacher told us:
“We recently had 14 pupils from China visit our school. When the children were in my classroom I explained to them why and how we use Izak9 and we all completed some tasks together. For these children, it was truly an amazing experience as their way of learning in China is so rigid. They enjoyed the practical aspect of the tasks and the fun they had was clear to see.”
Maths talk in any language
Due to the learning environment being so interactive and lit up by the variety of stimuli on offer, the most significant difference observed by teachers in all jurisdictions is the increase in the level of language used in maths class when Izak9 is in use.
“It doesn’t matter what language the children speak, it is the amount of ‘maths talk’ that is most noticeable in the classroom. Izak9 is making maths fun – children are enjoying their learning so much, they are talking about it to an unprecedented degree.”
These Spanish children building a fraction wall below, attend the SEK International School in Bray, County Dublin.
Where is Izak9 already in use?
Aside from our Irish and UK users, we have Izak9 cubes in schools in Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, the UAE and most recently, the US, with significant interest now shown from many more parts of the world. One school in particular in the UAE that uses Izak9 is the Swiss International Scientific School of Dubai. They are a multilingual PYP school (the primary element of the International Bacculauerate). This school affords children the opportunity to learn in different languages within the same class. This boy expresses his mathematical fluency in French.
Where to next?
We are now ready to have Izak9 delivered in many more languages. Having made several visits to the Middle East, most of our video tasks are already available in Arabic. There are plans in place to have all our tasks and questions translated into Irish, making Izak9 available to all schools in the country. We have also begun negotiations for the entire Izak9 website, including all task videos and additional stimuli to be made available in Mandarin. So watch this space for Izak9 coming to a school near you, wherever you may be!