Funville Web Tour

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Funville is a math-inspired fantasy adventure by Sasha Fradkin and Allison Bishop, where functions come to life as magical beings. After 9-year old Emmy and her 5-year old brother Leo go down an abandoned dilapidated slide, they are magically transported into Funville: a land inhabited by ordinary looking beings, each with a unique power to transform objects.

From February 15 to March 31, join the Funville crew and our math friends, visit adventurous math creators around the web, and check out their projects.

Funville Web Tour

The tour

  • February 19 – Christopher Danielson lists some of his favorite math projects, including Funville, under a beautiful name and beautiful message: Things that give me hope.
    • Christopher Danielson has worked with math learners of all ages—12 year-olds in his former middle school classroom, Calculus students, teachers, and children and parents at Math On-A-Stick at the Minnesota State Fair. He writes curriculum at Desmos, and books for Stenhouse. His website is Talking Math with Your Kids.
      Child playing with wooden tiling turtles 

  • February 21 – Joshua Greene shares how his fifth grader designed Funvillians: What is your function? More excuses to delay bedtime. “Using the characters as references, he found it much more intuitive to understand invertible and non-invertible functions. (…) This is a helpful model for understanding functions, more human and vivid than what we’d previously done with function machines.”
    • Joshua Greene is the president of PROMYS, an intense  summer math program for high school students. Applications for summer 2018 are open now! He is also involved in organizing The Cambridge Math Circle, a newly established group that offers fun explorations and challenges for K-5th graders.
      PROMYS Joshua Greene

  • February 23 – Megan Schmidt reviews Funville as a mother and a teacher. “When I visit my daughter’s 1st grade classroom, the kids get most excited when I say, “this is math I do with the high school kids.” The foundational work they do with “what’s my rule” machines, data collection, and graphs are also important pillars of a strong high school math program. Reading about the use of functions in such a creative way as in Funville Adventures helps kids make sense of them in a relatable context.”
    • Megan Schmidt is starting her PhD program in Math Education at the University of Minnesota this year. She is gathering ideas for her dissertation research, blogging at Number Loving Beagle, and exploring the Islamic geometric art.
      Number Loving Beagle Megan Schmidt

  • March 10 – John Golden aka Math Hombre wrote a review and an adorable fanfiction story Dylan Dangling. As other Funville characters, such as Heather making things heavier, Dylan’s name gives a hint to his power. “He was sitting on one half of a see-saw, but was up in the air instead of down on the ground. Maybe Heather had been here? He had on a shirt that was way too long, but otherwise seemed to fit him well. Adding to his stretched out appearance was a very tall cylinder of curly black hair.”
    • John Golden is mathematician who wandered over into math ed and teacher preparation. He loves math art, math games, math tech, and the teaching and learning discourse in the #MTBoS on Twitter.
      Dylan Funvillian by John Golden John Golden

  • March 12 – Kelly Darke interviewed Funville authors about the math and the magic of the book, and addressed its social implications. For example, math for everyone, in contrast to what we find sifting through the old books: “Opening the [math history published in the 1980s] book, I hoped to see at least one female mathematician inside. I did not. 61 images, all male.” Check out the authors’ math-rich answers to, “Which character is your favorite and why?”
    • Kelly Darke is a former university professor who loves thinking about mathematics, especially with her three children. Picture books are one of the ways they share math in their house. She blogs about the magical ones they find at – and enjoys writing math picture books too!
      Kelly Darke MathBookMagic

  • March 13 – Malke Rosenfeld shares gorgeous photos of Infinity Loops, and a bonus adventure about Moebius Strips by the authors of Funville. She writes, “One of my very favorite things about Funville Adventures is that Funvillians all have their own special math power. Although not a function, my daughter’s special math power since she was little has been conceiving different and playful kinds of infinities. When I was a kid, knowing that I had math power would have been totally awesome.”
    • Malke Rosenfeld is a dance teaching artist, author, editor, math explorer, and presenter whose interests focus on the learning that happens at the intersection of math and the moving body. She delights in creating rich environments in which children and adults can explore, make, play, and talk math based on their own questions and inclinations.
      Malke Rosenfeld Infinity Loop 

  • March 14 – Denise Gaskins hosts Blake’s Story, a bonus adventure featuring one of Funvillians from the book on her blog. “My power is to erase things. In comes in very handy when I want to redo a drawing or clean up a spill. But it gets tricky sometimes when I play games.”
    • Through Let’s Play Math blog and Math You Can Play books, Denise Gaskins strives to awaken parents’ and children’s minds to the beauty and wonder of mathematics. Math is a game, playing with ideas!
      Let's Play Math Denise Gaskins

  • March 15 – Kathy Cordeiro from AwesomeMath asks the authors about collaboration, making mistakes, and math cultures. “There are multiple times in the story when we encounter someone making a mistake. In fact, there is one mistake that happens early in the book and never gets “fixed” because the character that makes it has a non-invertible power.”
    • AwesomeMath is devoted to providing enriching experiences in mathematics for intellectually curious learners. Through summer camps, publications, curriculum, and competitions AwesomeMath fosters a community that values critical thinking, creativity, passionate problem solving, and lifetime mathematical learning.
      AwesomeMath Kathy Cordeiro

  • March 16 – John Stevens shared an introduction to Funville Adventures with the readers of the Table Talk Math newsletter.
    • John Stevens is an educational technology coach for Chaffey Joint Union High School District who has also taught high school Geometry, Algebra 1, middle school Math, Service Learning, and Robotics, Engineering, and Design since 2006. He has served as the go-to guy for trying new, crazy, and often untested ideas to see how well they will work. He blogs at Table Talk Math.
      John Stevens Table Talk Math

  • March 21 – A.K. Whitney tells stories about stories. Math first came alive for her in an Economics class, designed around an ongoing saga of two teens. “There’s nothing quite like learning about market forces or Supply and Demand amidst the Sturm und Drang of teenage relationships and their expectations.” She suggests not reading Funville all in one sitting, because it has a lot of algebraic ideas. Agreed: a chapter makes a perfect bedtime story!
    • A.K. Whitney is a journalist with 20 years of experience in print and online. She is a regular contributor to Noodle, an educational website, writing mostly about math, which is the subject of her ongoing book project, awesomely named Mathochism.
      A.K. Whitney Mathochism

  • March 30 – Laura Grace Weldon interviews Funville authors and Maria Droujkova about the importance of stories, pretend-play, and imagination in learning mathematics.
    • Laura Grace Weldon is the author of Free Range Learning, a handbook of natural learning as well as a regular contributor to such publications as,,,, and many others. Laura lives on a small farm with her family where she works as an editor while also slooowly writing one of the 17 books she alleges she’ll actually finish.

    • March 31 – Paula Beardell Krieg talks about how Funville can help even the reluctant learners understand big ideas in math through the magic of story-telling. “Funville Adventures lets the reader experience relationship ideas, with both their range and their limitations. The idea here is to grasp the concept, let the notation, the lingo… come in at another time.”
      • Paula Beardell Krieg of Bookzoompa is a mom who just couldn’t bear to see her children dislike numbers, so she revisited math, saw it differently this time around, and became infatuated with the way it helps make sense of the world. Increasingly, her personal work and her arts-in-ed practice are becoming about the art of making books while making math.

    Would you like to review Funville Adventures?

    If you have a web page, a blog, a podcast, a community, or another way to share mathematics, we would like to invite you to come play with us in Funville. Please email to join the adventure!

    Even more Funville stories

    See you in Funville!