Tanya and Darren
My wife and I are both teachers from Alberta, Canada teaching every grade including kindergarten. We have also taught every subject in schools from small town farming communities of northern Alberta to the rich, private, religious schools of Gold Coast, Australia. Tanya has supported me every step of the way on my little adventure of sharing ideas. Together we want education to change for all children, making it less of a chore and more of a lifelong desire.
I met Hua Wei at a Memory Championship in Edmonton, Alberta. With a world class math mind and a thorough understanding of the Abacus, I have since asked him to help use with the Kenzy Methods.
He started learning the Japanese abacus method at the age of 8, then relearnt a new method at the age of 10. He held the world record of 9 digits x 9 digits at the age of 16, completed in less than 24 seconds
In 2007 He came to Edmonton for undergraduate studies, major in accounting.
In 2012 he placed 2nd in the overall competition, 2nd in the multiplication category and 3rd in addition at the Mental Calculation World Cup in Germany.
He broke the long held world record of dividing 10 digit numbers by 5 digit numbers in Las Vegas in 2016.
He currently works as a manager in a mid-size accounting firm in Edmonton. It is probably a natural fit for his line of work.
Hua Wei has always loved numbers and is always willing to share what he has learned. He is also helping us with the more advance techniques.
I have been a teacher for more than 25 years and have a strong passion for teaching, especially out-of-the box. I am thankful for all the opportunities and experiences from the classroom. I've always looked for faster, easier and better ways to learn whether its memorizing the times tables, playing a four part Christmas melody or being able to read the and understand Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
My passion began for math, trying to make it more enjoyable and retainable for students. This then, developed into a passion for language arts and music.
Over the years I did many plays as part of my language arts class. We did versions of 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe', 'The Wizard of Oz', 'Sherlock Holmes', 'Robin Hood', 'Alice in Wonderland', 'Aladdin', the Lorax', and 'Charlotte's Web'. Kids were able to get laughs, bring tears and sing songs on stage in front of family and friends.
I have organized Daddy / Daughter Balls where fathers treated their little girls like princesses for a few hours. There were sing-offs with 'Let It Go' and 'Hound Dog', rose ceremonies, belly laughs, photo sessions and unforgettable dances.
I trained memory and math athletes to compete in national competitions like the Canada Memory Championship and the International Memory Association Kids Championship in Australia. Ten and eleven year olds memorized decks of cards, long strings of numbers and random names of strangers proving to be the best in the country.
I have been fortunate not only to be able to teach things like soccer, violin and story writing but to be able to find ways to make it easy to learn and relevant to kids.
Just like at any job, I've found ways of making learning faster, easier and more enjoyable. Math, language and music can be learned by anyone, especially if they learn the right way. From a young age I've been able to see things differently. Since being in the classroom I've found patterns in notes, numbers or words and understand the process to make this an automatic skill for anyone.
I use the word 'Kenzy' to describe anything that is a shortcut or a faster way of learning. Each of the math methods is rooted in researched and proven techniques. Kenzy Addition and Subtraction, for example, share strategies used in the eastern Abacus style of math. They make use of simple patterns to make it faster and easier to get to the answer of basic facts.
Kenzy also just happens to be the shortcut for my daughter's name. I guess I named the coolest math in the world after the coolest girl in the world.
The Math Stories
A perfect example of learning methods is the Math Stories. I studied advanced strategies like 'memory palaces' from the top minds in the world, even becoming a member of World Memory Association board. Using the methods I learned, I created simple, funny stories that taught the times tables. Over the years I have perfected and developed these stories into full digital program complete with graphics. As a result, kids in my class were able to learn the times tables on average 10x faster.
Nothing replaces teachers in the classroom. I am hoping these resources will help both teachers and learners. The videos, sheets and posters all come directly from what I do in class.
Building a foundation of basics leads to success. Success leads to confidence and enjoyment. It is at this point that a child, any child can reach their potential.
Know that this is not a theory, experiment or a practice run. Basic on ancient technique, research and proven methods, these are things I've done year after year with extrodinary results.
I sincerely hope we find like minded people we can share ideas with.
Darren (and Tanya)