You know how it goes, grabbing your calculator for the simplest of calculations. Our arithmetic skills are getting worse and worse and the next generation is only going to go more downhill from here if we don’t do something. But making exercises from an arithmetic book every day to keep practicing doesn’t sound very appealing…
That’s where u + me = love comes in! It’s the perfect game for junior high school students to playfully practice their arithmetic skills.
Can you help Mathew get closer to his crush? Solve puzzles, pay close attention and train your arithmetic reading comprehension skills!
You can download u + me = love for Android here.
In the game, the students help Mathew to win over his crush. By solving puzzles and figuring out information from the given information, they can help him. By using a recognizable situation, they can easily relate to the story. Instead of using the boring unrelatable situations they’re used to from school exercises.
This way, they’re subtly practicing and playfully improving their arithmetic reading skills!
Validation & Research
The Haarlemmermeer Lyceum (secondary school in the Netherlands) came across the issue that their students’ arithmetic skills were rapidly declining and were at their wits end. They had tried several tools before, such as Studiemeter and Bettermarks. However, the students didn’t seem to use them much because they were not only boring, visually bland, and felt like an obligation, but also just not engaging or fitted for them. So a new solution was needed; something fun and engaging.
But why were the arithmetic levels decreasing in the first place? Why were the students struggling? And where were they struggling? What was the underlying issue exactly? Where exactly is it going wrong?
After conducting lots of research, going through a myriad of analysis and tests, it can be concluded that the students weren’t necessarily struggling with the arithmetic components, but more so with the reading comprehension that was needed to be able to solve those arithmetic problems. The type of sums and questions that were concluded to be found the most difficult by the students both from analyzing previous tests and from conducting new tests and seeing where people get stuck and/or struggle, were the questions that required the students’ reading comprehension skills. So the problem didn’t exactly lie within arithmetics, but more so in reading comprehension within an arithmetic environment.
Students were struggling with sums that had lots of enumerations and sums with big texts from which they only needed bits of information. They often read over things or were distracted by the information overload and were not sure what to take from the given information and what not. In short, the problem lies with them struggling to figure out what information to pick out the given information.
Which is why u + me = love focuses on presenting information in such a way, it not only makes it more coherent for the player to understand, but also trains their brains to find that information and apply it to their preexisting knowledge. That way, they will practise their existing skills and learn to apply that to new knowledge and skills.
Tatum van Trier
Game Developer, Game Designer, Project Management
2D Game Artist