## The Nostalgia Shed.

Long before the internet, before smart boards, ipads and interactive whiteboards we used to long for tv programmes to break up and enhance what would otherwise be a very dull lesson (in my experience anyway). This would happen rarely and it would mean the teacher usually wheeling in a 14" tv on a trolley. Often the programmes would be videoed and the quality would be questionable, if the right thing had been recorded, it would often start at the wrong time, cut out or the picture would fuzz or roll endlessly, despite the tracking button. Here is a pottered trawl through the history of children's educational maths programmes. Each programme will have a small review and a comment on its educational worth today, they may not be in chronological order, but I do hope eventually they will. If you can think of any maths tv programmes from your childhood please tweet me @grahamandre or email [email protected]

## Leapfrog - 1978 -1981

An odd one this, there is very little dialogue in sections and this actually makes it an interesting programme to watch. If you watch the first episode below (Actually episode 8) it starts by covering the presenter in a striped sheet, then looking at the pattern it makes and comparing that to real world patterns and shapes. The programme is not directly telling you what it is looking at you could ask your children for ideas, then look for shapes in real world environments. None of these episodes carries a theme but below each one I have put what it covers (thanks to the internet).

More information can be found at:

http://www.broadcastforschools.co.uk/site/Leapfrog

More information can be found at:

http://www.broadcastforschools.co.uk/site/Leapfrog

Episode 8:

- Fred lies down and is covered with a striped sheet, and the stripes form lines around his body
- fingers and thumbs form complements-in-10, but each digit is named -ty (such as "four-ty") to make complements-in-100
- a mirror is held against different animated drawings to demonstrate symmetry
- the abacus counts in base five
- Bert finally gets his two lines of logs to be equal length
- a group of people count from one to ten in different languages.

Episode 7:

- Bert is still adding more logs to his rows
- the presenters use thin blocks to create patterns of lines, and similar patterns are shown in the real world
- four fingers & thumbs don't count, so complements-in-six are created
- a mirror is moved around some drawings to create different shapes and even words
- the abacus counts up in base three
- Sheelagh tells a fairy tale in which a princess will marry whomever can tell whether the King has more sheep or cows.

Programme 1:

- A shape and its mirror image intersect to music
- fingers and thumbs are used to count complements
- the movement of a sparkler is seen in the darkened studio
- six counters form pairs, but a seventh counter spoils things
- patterns are formed from squares of card
- Fred and Sheelagh play Make Seven, in which they have to guess how many objects to add to the other player's collection to make seven exactly.

## Basic Maths. 1981 -1984

This was the updated version of Leapfrog, with a very similar intro as the presenter spells out the name phonetically. Unlike it's predecessor each programme does follow a theme such as Time, counting, patterns etc. Despite its age there are some good ideas within the programmes, they do though insist on the tee finger thing (you'll know when you watch it) and i'm not too sure about the merits of this. Unfortunately there is very little info on this programme unlike Leapfrog.

Programme 8: Time

Programme 4: Number

## Maths in a Box. 1980 - 1984. Age: 5-7

Maths in a Box was a show about two children and their friend Powka, from another planet. Through the show the children taught Powka about different mathematical concepts by taking him to various real life places. In the episode below they take him to the arcade where he learns about numbers more than ten, and how they are made up of tens and units. The children take the role of the teacher and the adult the pupil, which makes it interesting, plus the problems and solutions are explained in a basic but clear way. Unfortunately we only have two episodes (Only 10 were made) and we only have part of 'At the Seaside' which covers place value, but we do have a complete 'Down on the Farm' which looks at sets.

More info can be found here:

http://www.broadcastforschools.co.uk/site/Maths-in-a-Box

More info can be found here:

http://www.broadcastforschools.co.uk/site/Maths-in-a-Box

At the Seaside. Place value.

Down on the Farm: Sets.

## Wondermaths. 1986 -1988. Age 9-11

Adventures and problem-solving as various problems beset the spaceship Investigator and its crew of astronauts Zak and Stella, and the troublesome robot Hudson, have to work together using clear thinking and maths skills to save the day. They often find many different approaches to solving a problem, and different clues to help them work out what to do. Each show below is split into two parts, more will be added.

Programme 10 - part 1

Programme 10 - part 2