Math may be one of the most hated subjects in school. Whether you like it or not, you’ve got to admit that there are a lot of people out there who could just never get the hang of math class. As a kid, Evgeny Milyutin was one of these people. Now, he’s created a program that will help students enjoy math, by giving them the chance to get the help they need, so they’re less frustrated and less likely to hate math.
The program, called “Happy Numbers” was co-created by Evgeny Milyutin and Ivan Kolomoets, and it focuses primarily on preschool to second grade. Milyutin, who struggled with passing his second-grade math class and required a lot of one-on-one tutoring, just to keep up with his class, wants this program to personally help every student who may be struggling. Happy Numbers doesn’t want students to just get by. The company wants to help students long-term and to teach them to “think math.”
What it is
Happy Numbers views itself as an independent math center, which can provide “individualized instruction for the rest of the class.” It is a downloadable software and when students use it, it watches what they are doing and points out when they are doing something wrong. It’s basically like having a regular math tutor there, to help the student with their work.
The software also has adaptive scoring, so it can figure out how long a student needs to practice, in order to learn a concept. This is important because if a math lesson moves too quickly or too slowly, the student may end up left behind or distracted. For students that can’t yet read, there is audio available.
What it’s not
There are a lot of math programs out there today, especially for younger grade levels. While these programs may seem flashy and cool, with their promises to “make math fun,” they may also not be too effective. Happy Numbers wants to make math interesting for its students, but it wants to be more than just another “all dancing, all singing” product.
Happy Numbers is not just a set of online worksheets, nor is it just a set of games that help students to remember something only for the duration of the game. With their program, they don’t just focus on solving problems but also on understanding them. They build on simple concepts, so students are constantly reminded of what they’ve previously been taught.
Who can get it
Happy Numbers primarily targets elementary schools and teachers. Its software is compatible with any device, and school districts can purchase a subscription that allows their students to have individual accounts for the program.
The hardest part of creating any learning software may just be the competition. Especially for lower grade levels, there is a lot of learning programs out there. Textbook publishers, such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and McGraw-Hill have recently begun to invest more in digital and interactive educational materials, as well as their usual print textbooks. These publishers are well established and schools may just opt to use their programs over others- especially if their programs pair with their textbook, which the school may already be using in its classes.
With competition so fierce, it can be difficult to convince schools to try out a program created by a start-up company. So far, however, Happy Numbers has had some success. Their programs are currently in use in schools throughout the United States, and the company is sure that its quality program can continue to impress more schools in the future. After all, names and reputation matter little, compared to results.
Math class may be one of the most hated subjects in school, but that may be the result of how it is taught. Students learn at different paces and when one teacher tries to teach it to a group of students, some are bound to be left behind. It’s not always easy for a teacher to pick up on the ones who are struggling, and sometimes a student doesn’t want to get help. Sometimes even just finding a tutor can be a struggle. With Happy Numbers, students can get tutoring without needing to ask for it or get a recommendation.
Happy Numbers creator, Evgeny Milyutin, had a lot of math tutoring as a kid, and it helped him pass his classes. Now, he’s offering the same thing to students today. It’s just a digital version of it.