At Geeks with Juniors, we believe that math is an important skill kids should learn early. On the other hand, we realize that many kids (and adults!) feel that math is a daunting subject. In reality though, learning math doesn’t have to be painful if you approach it with a strategy.

Today, I have an app that tries to make learning math easier and more fun. It’s called Teachley: Addimal Adventure. A winner of Apple Design Award 2014, this colorful app helps kids master single-digit addition using four strategies: count all, count on, doubles, and tens.

### Becoming a Math Hero

Emphasizing on fun, the app is presented as an adventurous tale where kids help Captain Memo and the Addimals stop the evil Professor Possum from destroying the world. As kids solve addition problems, they collect golden blocks to fill in a 10×10 addition table. Completing every one-fourth of the table will earn them a puzzle piece to restore El Sumado, a city ravaged by Professor Possum.

The app consists of two rounds: the Tool round and the Speed round. In Tool round, kids are first given a step-by-step guide by an Addimal to learn each of the four addition strategies (“tools”). They then use these tools to solve a series of addition problems. In this round, numbers are represented visually with blocks, and kids can choose between two or more strategies to solve the problem.

In the Speed round, kids apply their skills to retrieve gold blocks from Professor Possum. Unlike in the Tool round where kids can take their time to solve each question, here they must do it quickly. They get two chances to answer each question.

If they can answer the question in under 3 seconds, they earn a gold block, and the equation is marked as memorized on the addition table. If they take any longer, an Addimal will appear to give them a hint and another chance at solving the problem. If they answer it correctly this time, they earn a green block. If not, they get a red block that signifies more work is needed.

Parents and teachers who want to supervise their kids’ work can do so in the Reports section. They can see which equations on the grid table needs more work. They can also set the game’s difficulty level, turn on/off Tool Round or Speed round only, or mute the background music. It is also possible to wipe the progress on the table, and restart the game from the beginning.

### Parents Need to Know

Teachley: Addimal Adventure is made by teachers and researchers. The app is aligned to a number of K-2 Common Core Math Standards.

Based on researches, kids apply more efficient strategies as they age. Thus, the app makes applies progressive learning. Kids learn the strategies from the easiest (count all) to the most difficult (memorizing). In Tool Round, kids may not use certain strategies until they have mastered the simpler ones.

Parents and teachers that supervise the app’s usage can manually set the game’s difficulty level from the Parents and Teachers section. You can choose between Normal, Easy, Medium, or Hard. The more difficult levels still involve single-digit additions but with larger numbers, giving kids more opportunities to practice more advanced strategies such as Tens.

The app is suitable for use in family and classroom settings. Teachers can sign up for a classroom account to track student progress. The app is free to download and play, with no ads or in-app purchases.

The Tool round helps kids visualize the addition concept using easy-to-understand models

### Things I Like

Teachley: Addimal Adventure is a prime example of an app that does one thing really well. More than just a math drill, it assists kids in actually learning the addition concept. I like that instead of making kids simply memorize equations, the app develops a conceptual understanding of addition.

Design-wise, there are many details that are executed well. The Reporting section makes it easy for parents and teachers to see which addition problems need more work. They can also tap on each block on the addition table to see how many times a problem was solved correctly in each round.

The user interface is also child-friendly. The graphics are bright and colorful, and the animal characters really appeal to kids. Narrated instructions (plus visual cues) make it clear what to do in each round, plus the app always provides instant feedback when kids answer a problem incorrectly.

Kids then practice their newly learned strategies in the Speed round

### Conclusion

A comprehensive app that teaches single-digit addition to kids ages 4–8. It uses visual models to help kids master four addition strategies: count all, count on, doubles, and tens. Presented as an adventurous narrative, it engages kids to keep playing so they can save a city from the clutches of a (comical) villain. A great (ahem) addition to your child’s math apps collection.