Our team was proud to present our research and development process behind Early Math with Gracie & Friends in the National Science Foundation’s 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase. We are honored to have received NSF funding to create Gracie & Friends and to have received the Facilitators’ Award during the Video Showcase!
The Gracie & Friends Photo Friends iPad app is designed to foster collaboration among preschoolers. Our partner teacher, Melisa, masterfully reinforces the audio from the game, encouraging our young friends to work — as what? As a team!
We had a bubble-bursting good time sharing the Gracie & Friends Treasure Bubbles iPad app, now available in the Apple App Store, with our young friends and teachers. What was our approach to integrating this collaborative game into the preschool classroom? Modeling how we can work together to learn math — which is “awesome” and totally clap-worthy!
This modeling — and it’s absolutely participatory modeling with the teachers and children! — is all part of our Professional Development for effective integration of research-based, developmentally appropriate games into the preschool classroom. Teachers model the apps for the children, inviting their thoughts, their voices, and their touch.
As for the children? We saw a lot of joy and exuberance while learning together! And that’s the true treasure.
As we work hard to put the final touches on the subitizing app suite, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on why we do what we do, and why all of the hard work is worth it.
As long as we keep children at the heart of this and learning at the center, and we continue to evolve our practices in collaboration with partners – preschool partners, research partners – I think we can have confidence that we will build out a new age for public media, for learning with technology.”
Summer is winding down, but our team is still going full-force getting our apps and activities classroom-ready. We took a moment to sit down with executive producer Christine Zanchi and one of our research leads, Phil Vahey, to get their thoughts on how NGPM is contributing to the field of technology and early learning. Take a look!
Remember NGPM @ SXSWedu 2013?
Help us get to SXSWedu 2014, one of the largest education innovation conferences in the country! We noticed last year there weren’t a lot of people talking about tech in preschool and we want to change that! Help us spread the word about research-based learning design, productive failure through game play, and collaborative technology experiences by casting your vote for our panel before Friday, September 9.
There’s other evidence that math matters early in life.”
New studies show that math ability in secondary school and beyond can be predicted in first grade or earlier. An article in USA Today summarizing recent research in the effects of early math instruction on later math success describes a study done out of the University of Missouri which found that seventh graders who performed poorly on a test of core math skills were those who had lagged behind in number sense and math fluency as first graders.
The profound effect that early math education can have on a child’s educational trajectory should therefore not be underestimated. Parents and caretakers are encouraged to build children’s number sense from “as soon as they’re born,” says Mann Koepke, of NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. How? Check out the article for tips on how to get your child on the path to developing math fluency!