## Equal Parts Math and Adventure

The Zorbit's team are a bizarre but awesome mix of educators, game designers, and children's entertainment professionals. Our backgrounds breed a mix of play and pedagogy like nothing else. Let's take a quick look at what makes Zorbit's Math Adventure such a hit.

Many math games keep the game mechanics and the math concepts completely separate. In some cases, math questions interrupt the gameplay which positions math as a barrier. This can leave a negative impression of math with students.

Zorbit's Math Adventure positions math as an ally. Math is not a barrier to the fun bits of the game, it *is* the fun bits of the game. Math models are embedded in context-driven scenarios in such a way that encourages exploration of targeted math concepts.

The feedback that students receive within Zorbit’s Math Adventure always constructively encourages students to be persistent and try different strategies. We even go rid of the red X and replaced it with a yellow question mark.

Further feedback mechanisms include Serena, Zorbit’s robot friend. She will chime in with suggestions on why the student may need to adjust their thinking to move in the right direction.

True learning happens when students are able to make their own sense out of the information presented to them. Piaget's notion of cognitive "schema" suggests that students only truly learn something new when it fits into their existing knowledge framework. This suggests that having the agency to construct understanding rather than consuming is a fruitful instructional approach.

The activities in Zorbit’s Math Adventure encourage students to understand new concepts in a way that works for them. For example, a student may view the number 18 as a set of eighteen 1's, 8 and 10, 20 minus 2, or even 3 groups of 6. In any case, students will understand 18 in different ways and Zorbit's offers them the agency to demonstrate it.