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Testimonials: Des Rainey's Number Stick and 'Number-Family Teaching Methods


‘No, it doesn’t need to be ‘plugged in’ to be an appropriate learning technology! I saw this device when I visited and worked with educators in New Zealand.  The invention of educator, Dr. Des Rainey, the tool’s richness is in it’s simplicity.  It consists of a rod on which colored balls can be clipped…  And here is the magic.  Thinking about and talking about how the balls lie after a ‘spin’ can only be done by thinking and talking in math. This simple little technology is certainly worth pursuing.  Brilliant!
David Warlick, USA, keynote speaker, Learning-at-School Technology Expo, Rotorua 2007.

 I really enjoyed hanging out today and discovering your invention. I think it is a truly brilliant idea - so simple yet such depth of potential. I will certainly ask my school to buy a set for a class, so if you could send me a pricing sheet that would be great.
Kevin Campbell, Rudolf Steiner School, London.

‘…It’s fun and children love it, even learning tables! – I love the practicality of it - no more counters and bottle-tops all over the floor – very visual - helps children understand and that’s where children need help in moving from the concrete to the abstract – very good too for Place Value and different bases. The Activity Books as a resource are great.  '10 out of 10' for the 'Number-Family' concept.  Fantastic!'
Julie McDonald and team, Wadestown Main School, Wellington                                          

‘...an excellent teaching tool, especially for children not yet fully past the concrete stage of learning.  It is very easy to understand and operate at all levels and SPELD teachers throughout the country will find it extremely useful in the teaching of maths.’
Rae McKeown, Director of Teacher Training for SPELD N.Z. (Inc)

'The Number Stick is fascinating.  Our Special Needs students all enjoy working with it. Stimulating!'
Marge Griffiths, Lake Rere Whaikaaitu School

I can't over emphasise the importance of physical resources in maths education. The Number Stick (Fun-Abacus) is one of those wonderful
versatile resources that really supports & extends children’s learning of central concepts in mathematics'
Alex Williams, Programme Coordinator/Lecturer
School of Education, UNITEC, Auckland.

“I was impressed with the versatility of the number stick resource as a mathematics tool.  It is suitable for all ages, stages and levels for numeracy.  The practical ideas were able to be readily implemented into classroom programmes.  An advantage of the number stick tool is that it is engaging for all learners as it utilizes visual and kinesthetic applications.”
Julia Willis. Lead Teacher, Fairburn Primary`

‘Children love it. They get so excited.’
Linda Robinson, Sylvia Park School

The Number Stick is fabulous one to one with our children or even one to three.
Roseanne Sinclair, Marlborough Kindergarten, Auckland

"... through its range of printed material, the Number Stick certainly offers busy teachers the opportunity of delivering well constructed lessons which fit superbly with English, American, Canadian and Australasian curricula.’
Megan McGaw,  Auckland

‘ My young pupils enjoy working with it, and I find it a very successful tool for assisting their understanding of number and basic operations.... This manipulative is especially and UNIQUELY effective in helping children gain an understanding of the ten-ness of 10, one of the most important elements of good mathematical education.’
Claire Aumonier, Home Schooling Consultant and Founder of the Homeschooling Federation, Auckland.


‘It’s novel and the utility of it is excellent. You can just go from one aspect of math to the next and the next and the next on the same tool. It’s a very very diverse tool! ...There's a magic here.'
Product Manager, LA

Very interesting, thought provoking. A simple way of developing abstract from concrete. Tidy and compact. Simple and effective. Marvelous!’
Marylyn Pierson, former Principal, Westminster Christian School.

‘….a mathematical exploration tool and toy which children can use creatively and imaginatively...’
Len Cooper, Math Education Consultant, Auckland

‘Teachers and children have enjoyed using the equipment and the activity sheets.  The children have found it easy to master and have experienced a high success rate in increasing their  understanding of number...   
It’s so visual! – It’s easy for children to see and read number patterns. Some children who are not as quick mentally are able to pick up visually with it. They like the action that goes with it and the hands-on thing. I like how you can join devices to do Place Value because that’s quite hard to teach and it’s really good to have something concrete to use to do that. The ‘Number-Family’ approach fits the curriculum and means children can get a really good knowledge of Number. It’s also much easier to teach higher and extended skills. 
Jan Upston, Lyall Bay School

‘We see our job as to produce truly excellent resource materials for primary education which enable teachers to teach and children to learn in a better and more effective way than previously.  We see in Doc. Rainey’s Fun-Abacus an original, creative, well designed and produced resource which meets all our criteria.....   All members of our Product Development and Marketing Team were very enthusiastic with the originality and effectiveness of the Fun-Abacus.  We do believe it is a product with considerable potential in Primary Schools in worldwide markets.
Living and Learning (LDA)