Submitted by Kevin McShane
A few facts about McShane; Cartoonist and teacher McShane grew up in Northborough, and attended Algonquin Regional High School, class of '68. Presently working on a "Kickstarter Project," he has concocted a game that is fun, and shows kids how to count their coins. McShane's parents, Wm. J. McShane and Kathleen McShane, still live in Northborough.
McShane now teaches special education at Cascade Brook School in Farmington, ME. Growing up on School Street in Northborough, he used to caddy at Juniper Hill. His cousin Bill owns Ellsworth-McShane Tree Farm. There is a display of Indian arrowheads that McShane found in his dad's cornfield as a kid that he donated to the Historical Museum.
Smiling Sam the Game is a board game used to teach counting coins. It's fun to play. My students love to play it. They ask to play Smiling Sam the Game. Players travel the board with rolls of dice, learning the value of colored tokens as they go.
A unique feature of this game is that token values are learned as players land on Smiling Sam's space. Sam reveals the value of one color at a time. My students know that should they be collecting low value tokens throughout the game they may decide to continue to collect the lowest value possible "to set the low record." You see, a high dollar value wins "high score" and a low total will be credited with "low total."
I have built in positive rewards and kept negatives to a minimum. Even "lost a turn" is made a positive because by losing a turn students learn values as they see others landing on Smiling Sam.
With an higher pledge total I will upgrade the quality of paper-board, colors, and carton.
Special Education has been my career for 20 years. I have seen my students learn money counting skills using this board game, while they enjoy its positive features and challenging strategies. Special Education teachers will support this game, homeschooling parents, grandparents and gift-givers will enjoy the game.
As a cartoonist I have enjoyed creating the character "Smiling Sam." You will see "Smiling Sam" on T-shirts, artwork and more. Let's make sure the game is put into the hands of Special Education teachers where it will do the most good.