A new app shows kids how to learn math at bedtime, and it promises to be “nothing like school.”
The “Bedtime Math” app was conceived as an iPhone application two years ago, with the idea that since kids enjoy bedtime stories, they would also enjoy bedtime math problems. Laura Overdeck, an astrophysicist and mother, developed the application, and now the largest public school district in New Jersey is partnering with her for promoting it.
The app is one tool that the Newark public schools are using to decrease the achievement gap between high income and low income schools, while addressing the confusion that many students experience with math.
“I always loved numbers as a kid. I used to look at patterns,” Overdeck said. “This is the first time we’re partnering with a school district, because we’re pushing recreational math… We’re just so excited that teachers are taking the time to let parents know, ‘hey, do this fun stuff at home.’ It’s not the pedagogy. It’s playful.”
The app is privately funded and in use now in six Newark pilot elementary schools. Children in grades K-2 are the target age, and the school district is encouraging their parents to download the free app and use it with the children for five minutes before bedtime, at least a few times a week. The plan is to survey the parents later for their feedback.
By turning math problems into something enjoyable, parents are showing their children how to learn.