Teaching is a wonderful thing. As a teacher I know that I have knowledge that I can impart to my students that will likely help them to be successful in life. I also know that learning occurs differently for everyone, that there are multiple intelligences and that the most meaningful learning comes from discovery. That’s why we decided to make what we believe to be the very first math discovery math app available on the market.
The most important thing that I’ve learned as a teacher is to not take away the discovery in learning. The moment I fail to match the excitement of my students when they notice that snow dusted with salt melts faster than regular snow or that one thousand, ten thousand and one hundred thousand is just like ones, tens and hundreds, then I’ve diminished the learning they’ve accomplished. So much of the world, galaxy and universe has been discovered documented and mapped that we sometimes forget to allow children to be explorers. When a student discovers something it’s no less remarkable than its initial discovery and it’s deserving of fanfare. In this sense, teaching is not imparting knowledge, but journeying with learners.
When we at Learning With Meaning began to discuss what kind of app we wanted to create, we noticed that there were some math teaching apps and many math practice apps available. We chose to develop an app that doesn’t deliver answers to students or let them memorize facts more through practice. We designed our app to give children an engaging workspace to make their own mathematical discoveries.
iGet Math: Base 10 allows students to build a solid foundation of basic computation skills at their own pace powered by personal intrigue. As we were designing the app we realized that so many of the Common Core math standards were in the skills of the app that we could include quests to help direct young students toward those standards while still allowing them the space to discover it for themselves. This is why the quests are an optional learning journey, but not the heart of our iGet Math: Base 10.
Recently I was using iGet Math: Base 10 with a group of kindergarten aged students and one the children noticed that 14 + 6 = 20 and 6 + 14 = 20. The other four students were intrigued so we worked through several equations to test the idea using the Make 10, Make 50 and Make 100 Skills. The students found that it was universally true that the addends could be switched without affecting the sum. We then tried the same idea in the Take Away quests and discovered that it did not work with subtraction.
The students had discovered the commutative property of addition and they fully understood how and why it works. As tenderly as I could, I shared that they had discovered a very important mathematic principle called the commutative property of addition and the kids were excited that they were thinking like mathematicians. They were also thrilled that they could use that knowledge all the way through high school.
At Learning With Meaning we are committed to offering young learners apps to intrigue, challenge and inspire them to discover their learning. We have many more apps to to come and we are committed to creating a variety of discovery learning opportunities. We hope that you’ll support us in our mission.