Children are being asked to throw giant dice for their education. The dice, developed in South Australia by inventor Roger Carthew, with the help of teachers, were demonstrated at the Education Show in Melbourne last month. They are currently used in schools throughout Australia, and will soon be distributed worldwide.
Mr Carthew said that rising levels of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are forcing teachers to adopt innovative and creative methods to cater for students' personal learning styles and needs.
"Hyper-stimulated children need a compatible way of learning and the activity associated with giant dice seems just the thing," Mr Carthew said. "This is no ordinary dice; it’s a giant dice with a pleasing tactile feel, that’s visually stimulating and yet a little challenging size wise. The dice create a totally immersive educational experience that is playful and fun, gets bodies moving, and develops social skills, all of which contributes to powerful learning."
Children are being asked to confront the unexpected, deal with apprehension and discover excitement and fun, so they can further develop their numeracy skills, explore emotions, play games, participate in structured physical activity, explore good life choices, and develop their social skills, including caring, sharing and turn taking – all on a throw of a giant dice.
Aware of the growing prevalence of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Mr Carthew sees the suspenseful situation that children experience with each throw, as creating the right environment within which to teach. According to the latest American Academy of Paediatrics research, ADHD now has a prevalence of around seven to ten percent in young children.
So, gaining and holding their attention, and providing the best possible educational outcomes, brings its specific challenges to the classroom. Teachers have a passion and commitment to providing the best possible learning outcomes for all, and so, finding new and stimulating ways to engage their children is a high priority.
Nowadays it’s is not unusual in a class of twenty or thirty children, to have two or three with ADHD. “Meeting the specific learning needs of these children require compatibility between the education method and the child - all of which occurs with each throw of the dice,” says Roger Carthew.
“But it’s no ordinary dice, it’s an educational dice that grabs children’s attention and promotes learning of our young,” explained Mr Carthew.
“There’s an exciting variety of educational content. And they appeal to children from early childhood through to early high school. There are number, aerobics, yoga, good environmental choices, exploring feelings, and much more amongst the forty seven dice collection, with more to come.”
Monash University lecturer in Primary Curriculum and Pedagogy, Dr David Zyngier, says, "These giant dice actively engage children, promote play and fun whilst introducing educational concepts to children. When children are immersed in play with giant educational dice, a number of the child’s faculties are simultaneously stimulated creating an educational experience that fully engages the physical, emotional and intellectual intelligences of children in a cooperative and collaborative setting based on the most cutting edge research into children's learning and development.”
“Simply children have more fun and the consequence is enhanced engagement and learning in the classroom.” added Mr Carthew.
Made from a silky smooth, tough polyester fabric they are a joy to hold, squeeze and throw. Small children have no trouble throwing them as they weigh less than a kilo. “Children just adore to jump, roll and revel in play with these dice,” commented Mr Carthew.
It’s a turn of events for Mr Carthew who originally set out just to solve his own problem with an inflatable dice that always just wanted to go down.
Hence, it came as a surprise when Dr Zyngier requested he take his giant dice to Monash University in October, to “throw” a workshop series for graduating students. Here, time is to be spent exploring the full potential of play and learning that can emerge through the use of this range of giant educational dice.
But for now, with each throw, roll and tumble of the dice, the future of our children’s education seems more than ever destined, to be up in the air.
Roger Carthew Printing
Roger Carthew Printing, is a business of the Carthew Group, who has wide ranging interests in souvenirs, green consumer products, bar accessories, giant game party hire, vintage and nostalgia advertising signs for interior decor, handcrafted artistic chessboards and making industrial safety signs.
Images for publication: photos of children playing with giant dice are available for download at http://www.rogercarthew.com/giantdicephotos.htm. They are copyright free if used in accordance with the stated conditions.
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