Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Learn to Add with Addimal Adventure

Wouldn’t it be great if few Ph.D.s from Columbia University’s Teachers College could be on hand 24-7 to teach your child to add? If you have an iPad, download the free Addimal Adventure app from the iTunes store and you’ll get just that. 

Addimal Adventure is the brainchild of Teachley, a foundation that creates interactive electronic learning tools based on cognitive science research. In Addimal Adventure, Captain Memo and his pals will recruit your child to defeat the evil Professor Possum. The sharp graphics pop off the iPad’s screen appealingly, looking more like a show on Cartoon Network than an educational computer game. There’s a storyline here, and an engaging one at that, and your child will giggle at the characters’ funny quips and delight in being included in the adventure.

Addimal Adventure isn’t just great at catching and holding your child’s attention, though. It teaches genuinely useful strategies for learning and using addition. In each “Tool Round,” simple problems are presented and children can choose which strategy they want to use to solve each one. For example, the “Count All” button will present the problem using digital manipulatives. Kids count them, then indicate the answer using the number line at the bottom of the screen. Three additional, more advanced strategies are also taught. Between Tool Rounds, kids can watch the plot of the game unfold in short scenes, then practice their fact speed in the Speed Round. If they’re stumped, they can choose to get a hint that will remind them how to use one of the strategies they've learned. 

Addimal Adventures keeps track of all the facts a child answers correctly and incorrectly and displays them between rounds. The result is a motivating display of all the facts kids got right, which grows as they progress through the app.

Currently, Addimal Adventures is intended for home use. In January, however, Teachley will be launching a pilot data- reporting system for classrooms that will allow teachers to track students’ progress. Think your school might be interested in participating? Sign up now.

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