October 18, 2018

New Help Me Talk About Math iPad Game Encourages Kids to Explore Math

Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant visited Grade 1 students at O.M. Irwin School in Swift Current today to share a new iPad app developed by the Government of Saskatchewan that allows students to explore math and numeracy skills.

Askî’s Pond is an interactive game that reinforces Saskatchewan’s Grade 1 math curriculum while integrating First Nations and Métis content and ways of knowing.  The app engages children and helps them connect the math instruction in their classroom with the learning taking place at home.  These connections help promote the ongoing development of numeracy skills in children.

“Following the success of Askî and Friends with Help Me Tell My Story, our government is focused on finding more innovative ways to motivate and engage students and incorporate First Nations and Métis learning perspectives,” Wyant said.  “Askî’s Pond serves both of these goals and is a great resource that will allow teachers, parents and caregivers to work together to support students.”

The Askî’s Pond app was developed as part of Help Me Talk About Math, the Ministry of Education’s second engagement tool aligning with the Education Sector Strategic Plan goals.  The app has been piloted in both provincial and First Nations schools to assess Grade 1 students in math.

Help Me Talk About Math features the same Askî’s world characters familiar to students who have used Help Me Tell My Story, an optional assessment tool for Prekindergarten and Kindergarten teachers that employs the help of a fun turtle puppet named Askî and an iPad to assess oral language development.

With the ongoing support of local Saskatchewan digital design agency, zu, the iPad application was successfully launched in September 2018.

“Immersive digital experiences have the potential to be a great educational tool,” zu CEO Ryan Lejbak said.  “The ministry understood this and gave us the creative space to imagine Askî’s Pond.  We’re so proud of this project and the ministry’s commitment to modern products like this.”

Askî’s Pond is available for iPad in both English and French and can be downloaded free from the App Store.  The accompanying Help Me Talk About Math assessment app and web portal will be available to educators in January 2019.

To learn more about Help Me Talk About Math and Help Me Tell My Story, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/education-and-learning/prek-12-education-early-learning-and-schools/holistic-assessment.