iPad App Utilizes a Unique Approach to Teaching Early Math Skills that Schools are Starting to Embrace.
The Math Arrow is a patented teaching construct developed by Todd Buchholz, former White House Director of Economic Policy (under George HW Bush), and winner of the Allyn Young Teaching Prize at Harvard University. Buchholz is also a prolific, best selling author and in-demand speaker. Recently, he developed the Math Arrow, a new graphical depiction of numbers, to help his young daughters learn math.
The Math Arrow is a unique new approach to arithmetic that can really help young students see the relationships between numbers and develop a deeper set of skills as they learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, and more. Kyle Counts is the first iPad game to be developed using this visual construct. School districts across the country are considering replacing the standard number line with this newer, more powerful learning aid. Toms River, NJ (NJ's largest suburban district) will be using Kyle Counts and the Math Arrow this Fall.
“Research in neuroscience shows that our brains like to detect and identify patterns. They will even “fill in the blanks” to complete one. For example, the “magic of Hollywood” comes from your brain, which can connect rapidly flashing still images into a continuous flow of film. When we lie on the grass gazing at the clouds in the sky, we can’t seem to stop trying to reconfigure cloud formations into familiar shapes. Sproglit uses these same neuro-scientific principles to teach math. The Math Arrow is a matrix designed to make the relationship among numbers more intuitive and to enhance the learning of mathematical functions.” (The Math Arrow, Sproglit.com).
To further understand the ability of the Math Arrow as implemented in Kyle Counts to enhance student learning, a study was conducted. This study investigated whether Kyle Counts could improve addition skills and number sense among first grade children. A randomized, controlled experiment was conducted in five 1st grade classrooms to determine whether Kyle Counts improves performance on grade-appropriate tests of addition and number sense. Among their findings:
- Students in the first tested group played Kyle Counts for ten minutes a day for five days. After playing Kyle Counts for a total of 50 minutes, their mean scores on an arithmetic test rose by 0.887 points, equivalent to a 7.58% improvement and an increase of 27% of the standard deviation.
- Students in the second tested group played Kyle Counts for 2 to 5 days. Their scores improved by .676 points, equivalent to a 5.77% improvement and an increase of 21% of the standard deviation.
These test scores certainly suggest that children playing Kyle Counts will improve their addition skills and number sense, and that even a small increase in playing time is associated with higher outcomes.
Keep an eye out for the Math Arrow – coming to an elementary school classroom near you! In the meanwhile, download Kyle Counts ($4.99 on iTunes) for a young student in your life – its best for ages 4 to 7 but can be enjoyed by somewhat older kids as well!
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