Adam Up is an alien from the planet Numberth. He is not a big fan of maths and prefers not to try when faced with number problems. One day, when exploring the office belonging to his mother – a famous explorer who mysteriously disappeared several years ago – Adam finds a magical calculator. When he turns the calculator on, creatures called the Number Crunchers pop out and explain what happened to his mother – she had travelled to the Land of Problems where she had hoped to find ‘The Golden Ratio’, but she never came back. Adam discovers a portal to the Land of Problems and plans to jump through. However, just before he does, his best friend Millie Metre enters and the two travel together. As Adam and Millie reach the Land of Problems, they realise that their maths skills need to be sharp, but with concentration and a little bit of help from the Number Crunchers, they might just make it and possibly find Adam’s mother.
James Summerfield teaches a variety of subjects at a Special Education School in the West Midlands, UK. As well as being one of the finest teachers to ever grace our planet, James is a highly talented musician – he can play the guitar, piano, drums, cello, and kazoo as well as others (you can listen to his back catalogue at https://jamessummerfield.bandcamp.com/). He also has a fine beard.
Sam Kordan teaches maths at a High School in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. He has had various maths related jobs across three different countries and is the nerd of the pair. Sam plays the bass guitar to an average standard and is only capable of producing one melody when writing songs. He can’t grow a beard.
In 2014ish, when working at the same school, James and Sam began creating maths songs with the students. Their first song, ‘Multiply by 2 and 4’, was an instant ‘hit’ and was sung around the school corridors, on the bus home and at home itself. This was followed up by the world famous ‘Perimeter’ song which rakes in regular views on Youtube to this day. Parents of the students would comment on how their dinner times had been ruined due to the constant singing of the catchy, albeit slightly irritating, tunes. After several years of writing songs and making animated videos of the highest quality, James and Sam took a break to pursue family raising (separately) but are now expanding the Adam Up universe once more. As well as songs, there are posters, tutorial videos, games, memory aids, vocabulary mats and more!
Whilst we believe it is important to pay attention to evidence from research, our philosophy is based on what has worked well for us with our students. ‘Adam Up Maths’ has been created for everyone, although much of what we have produced has been a response to helping students who find that maths doesn’t come naturally to them. After many years of practice and reflection we have found that students make progress when they:
- understand what’s going on within a concept (see songs, models)
- have a good grasp of the vocabulary used in the world of mathematics (see songs, vocabulary mats)
- are able to develop independence with mathematics (see memory aids)
- enjoy maths (see games)
We realise that teaching and learning mathematics is far more complex than just these points but we hope that our content can help supplement quality teaching to make for a positive experience for all. Ultimately, we want students to see maths as a colourful subject, metaphorically and literally.