A new study
in the journal Science
finds that an iPad app that prompts parents and kids to solve nightly number problems together greatly improves student achievement in math. The app, Bedtime Math (featured on Science Friday before
), creates a kind of math storytime. One example of the kinds of problems the app can provide is a question about elephants. The prompt details the number of toenails that African and Asian elephants have on their front and back feet. Then kids are asked, “How many more toenails does an Asian elephant have?
” Researchers found that solving these types of “short numerical story problems” helps reduce anxiety around math, giving parents and children new ways to talk about the sometimes feared subject.