Project image
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$2,492
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
44
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 5 2014 7:21 PM UTC +00:00
$2,492
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
44
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 5 2014 7:21 PM UTC +00:00

About

Welcome to NumberShire!

Hi, we’re Thought Cycle, and we want to help as many students as we can improve their math skills. Our goal is to give kindergarten through second grade students access to NumberShire - an effective and engaging math learning game that has been shown to improve early math skills. With your help we can create iPad and Android versions of NumberShire to reach more students. And with each pledge you make we will give a free license of the game to a student who can start improving their math skills right away!

  • Primary goal: NumberShire on iPad Tablet.
  • Stretch goal: NumberShire on Android Tablets. and beyond
  • Big Vision: NumberShire free for thousands of K-2 students!

A Story-based Approach to Teaching Math that Really Works

NumberShire is a story-driven video game that teaches math to kindergarten through second grade children. Featuring lovable characters, hilarious adventures, fun mini-games and rewards, NumberShire is an innovative collaboration between our game development team at Thought Cycle and early childhood education specialists from the University of Oregon’s Center on Teaching and Learning.

NumberShire features over 12 hours of content and is currently available for web-browsers. Research is showing that NumberShire is significantly helping students, especially those with learning disabilities in mathematics. Hundreds of children have been playing NumberShire and are loving it!

In an 8-week pilot study in 26 first grade classrooms, NumberShire significantly improved students’ mathematics learning. Using rigorous research methods supported by the US Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse, the pilot study found that students who played NumberShire performed better than control students on assessments of critical skills addressed in the Common Core State Standards.

Children Love NumberShire and Take Pride in Succeeding in Math

Students in Oregon, Texas, and Massachusetts are already playing NumberShire at school and at home. And they really love the game! Some say they like the pets they get as rewards that follow them around the village of NumberShire, like a puppy, a baby otter, a baby unicorn or a robot kitten! Or they say they love the characters like Jester Joe, Farmer Joan and others and the hilarious adventures they go on with them.

But what we hear most is that students are proud and excited when they succeed at math and when they feel they really understand fundamental concepts. This kind of achievement in the critical grades of K-2 builds lasting confidence and dramatically increases the chances of lifelong success in math and increased educational opportunities. Children have even sent us fantastic artwork to express how much they like the game.

Parents and Teachers Love it, Too

Parents and teachers tell us they really believe in NumberShire, too. Here is some of what they've said:

“After using NumberShire, over 90% of my students nailed the district math assessment! The class average went up over 20% from the fall to the spring.”

Christie Hoogendoorn 1st Grade Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School, Eugene, OR

“Learning math is a core value of mine; NumberShire has maintained my daughter’s interest when I can't. For a school project that had her draw a picture of her doing her favorite school activity, it was math. NumberShire allows her to dress up her character and have pets and that is what motivates her.”

Jeff Petry,Parent of a first grader in Oregon

“The reason I have decided to become involved in NumberShire is I really feel like this is the future, this is where we're going to make a lot of progress working with students.”

Tim McAndrew, Math Coordinator Prospect Hill Academy, Somerville, MA

Why NumberShire?

We decided to make NumberShire to help solve some big problems in math education. Low math achievement, particularly for students from low-income and minority backgrounds, is a critical issue.

  • Only 40% of 4th graders score at or above Proficient in math. Difficulties in math are severe for students with learning disabilities.
  • Nearly half of 4th graders with a disability scored Below Basic on 2011 tests of basic math skills.
  • Students who perform poorly in math in early grades are likely to struggle throughout elementary school, so addressing math in grades K-2 is vital.
Children can quickly become disengaged with math, especially when they struggle, and we've found that NumberShire's narrative, game-based approach excites and motivates students. 
 

Math Learning, Not Just Practice

NumberShire is different from most early math games because it teaches important math concepts rather than just providing practice drills. The game introduces new math content through explicit instruction sequences with the Village Elder explaining whole number concepts step-by-step. Better yet, math skills are used to solve everyday challenges and tasks required to keep the village running smoothly and to solve problems in context. 

For instance, The Elder demonstrates how one bundle of ten and five ones can be put together to build a fifteen while gathering wood to build a new addition to the student’s house.

Or Minstrel Max needs help bundling the coins he’s earned into sets of ten.

A World of Adventures filled with Meaningful Math Challenges

Players take on the role of an apprentice training with the Elder to master the math skills needed to keep the enchanted village humming along. All the villagers need help with math problems from figuring out the number of puppets for Jester Joe’s puppet show, to doing the math to pilot a mysterious airship.

Reports on Student Progress

Parents and teachers appreciate that they can get up to the minute information on each student’s progress in the game through a data report portal. In the data reports you can see the progress for a whole class or each student. Skills covered in the game are aligned to standards from the Common Core for easy reference:

Current progress in each standard is color coded to indicate a student’s progress towards mastery. Teachers and administrators can get a quick assessment of overall class performance. Each time a student has played an activity in the standard it’s indicated in the progress chart.


Work Plan

We have been working on an iOS version for several months, and we have made good progress. These funds will help us get it across the finish line, and we will use the money to finish code optimization, finalize artwork, perform thorough testing passes, submit to the App store and do some initial marketing. 

Getting the Game to Students

We will work with schools and districts to distribute the licenses you donate. We have a number of schools already using NumberShire or that are interested in using it, so we will credit their accounts with free licenses. We will also reach out to new schools and districts in communities that you tell us you want to see served. If you specify a school you want to receive donations, we will contact the school and work with them to redeem the licenses. Just send us an email and tell us which school you want us to work with. We will keep you updated on our progress as we share NumberShire with students who can really benefit from the game.

Stretch Goals

$100,000: Android Version of NumberShire

If we reach this goal we will use the funds to get software licenses (Unity Pro Android), the Android equipment we need, development time to adjust code, art assets and sound assets as required as well as provide for a professional testing passes on multiple Android machines.

$250,000: NumberShire Kindergarten and Second Grade Expansion for iPads

We are also working on expansion editions featuring 6 additional hours of kindergarten and second grade content, respectively. The Kindergarten version includes fun songs and animations introducing numbers while the second grade version will feature a multiplayer mode. If we reach this goal we can create more content for them and bring both versions to iOS as well as browsers.

$300,000: NumberShire Kindergarten and Second Grade Expansions for Android

If we reach this goal we can bring both expansion versions to Android machines as well as browsers. 

Money Isn't Everything 

If you are unable to help with funding we completely understand, and we would love to still keep you updated on our progress. Sign up for our mailing list and we will let you know when these versions are ready and keep you updated on NumberShire. 

Help Share NumberShire

More than anything, we want to get NumberShire to children and get them excited about math and feeling like they can succeed. If you know of a student, class, or school you want to receive NumberShire, send us an email and help spread the word about NumberShire. 

Kicking it Forward

We believe in supporting the Kickstarter and crowdfunding communities so more personal, inspired projects can make the world better, so we are pledging 5% of profits to Kicking it Forward!

Risks and challenges

We see our biggest risk as getting through the Apple marketplace submission process in a timely manner. Our other challenge is marketing and ensuring we can connect with kids and schools who can really benefit from NumberShire. Any help we can get spreading the word is greatly appreciated!

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    We will give a game to a student who needs it and you will get a thank you in the tablet versions!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    We will give a game to a student who needs it, you get a NumberShire account you can play on tablets, and you will get a thank you in the game!

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    18 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    We will give a game to a student who needs it, you get a NumberShire account you can play on tablets, and you get the NumberShire digital art kit featuring wallpaper and character art and a digital download of the music of NumberShire. Plus, a thank you in the game.

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    7 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    We will give the game to a whole class, you get a NumberShire account you can play on tablets plus the digital art kit, music of NumberShire and a thank you in the game

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    0 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    We will give the game to a whole school, you get a NumberShire account you can play on tablets, plus the digital art kit, music of NumberShire and a thank you in the game

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 3,000 or more About US$ 3,000

    We will give the game to a school, you get all the perks from the lower tiers, and you’re invited to spend a weekend (two days and one night) at Thought Cycle’s farm and bed and breakfast in Oregon and meet the team! You’ll also get to meet our adorable mama cow and little cow, goats, chickens, ducks and bunnies! Plus, we’ll make you ShireCakes (gluten-free)! Airfare not included.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    We will give the game to a small district (up to 1,200 K-2 students), you get all the perks from the lower tiers, and you’re invited to spend a weekend (two nights) at Thought Cycle’s farm and bed and breakfast in Oregon and meet the team! You’ll also get to meet our adorable mama cow and little cow, goats, chickens, ducks and bunnies! Plus, we’ll make you ShireCakes (gluten-free)! Airfare not included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)