Teachley Research at a Glance

At Teachley, we take research seriously (it’s in our tagline, after all).  Our products are developed with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). As part of these grants, we conduct ongoing research to evaluate the effectiveness of our apps in improving students’ mathematical abilities.

Design research. When developing our apps, we utilize an iterative design research process during which we build initial prototypes of the app and its features, such as levels and scaffolds, then give them to kids to play. We observe as they interact with the app, ask questions, and gather valuable feedback to inform the refinement of the app.

Efficacy research. To evaluate whether our apps impact learning, we conduct research studies during which we explore changes in students’ abilities before and after they play. To help synthesize some of our research efforts, we’ve put together two short briefs and link to them below.

Teachley Operations. Students who played our operations apps impaddimals-multiplis-ipad-2roved their fluency more than students who played traditional fluency games. Further, students using our Mt. Multiplis app were significantly more likely to use the distributive property when explaining how they solved problems. These results were also found when looking specifically at children who struggle in mathematics. Read the full Teachley Operations brief here.  


Teachley Fractions. Initial research on a prototype of our first fractions app, Fractions Boost found significant effects on students’ ability to estimate fractions on a number line. Read the full Teachley Fractions brief here.






Click here to learn about piloting our apps in your classroom for FREE.


Teachley Operations has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education under contract numbers ED-IES-12-C-0046 and ED-IES-13-C-0044. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


Teachley Fractions has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the National Science Foundation under contract numbers 1519618 and 1632238. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Tiggly joins the Teachley platform

Tiggly games now sync with Teachley

Tiggly makes interactive, educational iPad apps that your students will love! We are thrilled to announce that 4 of Tiggly’s apps now sync with Teachley Connect*. When you download any of the 4 free Tiggly apps below on an iPad that also has the Teachley Connect* app, the games will automatically sync with your Teachley class list for personalized gameplay. Download the apps and start playing today!

How to download: Download these FREE apps on the App Store: Addventure Number lineChef Addition, Chef SubtractionCardtoons.


Tiggly Addventure: Number Line


For grades PreK-K, join Tiggly to play a number line adventure! This app helps your students get familiar with the number line, learn about number relations, and count in more than 10 languages. Learn about the number line, number relations, and counting in different languages including Spanish and Mandarin. Download here.


Tiggly Chef Addition


For grades PreK-1, this math game helps your students learn addition and represent addition problems with drawings, verbal explanation, and math equations, all while helping Chef prepare his signature Spicy Hula Monkey Cake and over 40 other outrageous dishes. Learn about: early addition, representing addition problems with drawings, verbal explanations, and math equations, composing numbers less than or equal to 10 in more than one way, and understanding the meaning of plus (+) and equal signs (=). Created by Tiggly, a Teachley partner. Download here.


Tiggly Chef Subtraction


For grades PreK-1, learn subtraction math concepts while experimenting in Chef’s super-duper secret kitchen laboratory to create the most silly and flavorful creations the world has ever witnessed! Learn about: mental subtraction, conceptually understanding subtraction as “taking away,” decomposing numbers less than or equal to 20 in more than one way, understanding the meaning of minus symbol (-) and equal sign (=), and representing subtraction problems with drawings, verbal explanation, and math equations. Created by Tiggly, a Teachley partner. Download here.


Tiggly Cardtoons


For grades PreK-K, count, drag, match, and enjoy as the seemingly simple buttons you create come alive becoming part of a wildly imaginative cornucopia of storytelling. Tiggly Cardtoons will help your students learn basic math ideas such as one-to-one matching, counting, and equal sets while stretching their imagination and sense of wonderment. Features 25 imaginative stories focused on numbers, unique illustrations with textures taken from the real world, and guided counting gestures important for developing counting skills. Created by Tiggly, a Teachley partner. Download here.


Please note: Tiggly also makes physical manipulatives that seamlessly interact with the apps and are available for purchase separately. These manipulatives are not required to play the apps. The apps work by finger touch as well.

Teachley customers are eligible for a 10% special promotion on Tiggly connected manipulatives with the code TigglyTeachley. To claim your discount, email educators@tiggly.com.


*Teachley Connect requires a premium Teachley subscription. Sign up to pilot today!

Teacher Appreciation Sweepstakes Winners


thank you

Congratulations to the winners of our Teacher Appreciation Sweepstakes!


Basic Account winners:

Erin Berthold

Cara Bartlett

Tammy Evarts

Julie Bormett

Amber Hoerner


Pilot School winners:

Cathie Herbers

Maurren Driscoll

Merle Goess


Premium Account winners:

Jami Zimmerman

Mrs. Owens

Crystal Malloy

Pam Gray


Introducing App Settings

App Settings

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At Teachley, we’re making using iPads in the classroom even easier and more efficient for you and your students. Teachley’s App Settings enables teachers to customize our apps right from the Teachley dashboard to meet each student’s needs.


Here are just some examples of ways you can customize the apps:



Turn off the Speed Round in Addimals EDU Subtractimals EDU




Select specific multiplication factors in Fact Flyer EDU




Assign a pop-up quiz in Fractions Boost EDU


To see how App Settings work, watch this short video: bit.ly/2nDMrb5


App Settings work with the EDU versions of Teachley’s math apps (and select third party apps) and is available now for premium Teachley subscribers. Simply log into your teacher dashboard at www.teachley.com or in the Teachley Connect app. Not a Teachley subscriber? Sign up for a free pilot here.




Goodbye Pizza Pies (Hello Number Lines)


Students in the U.S. have an enormous deficit in their understanding of fractions. For instance, half of the eighth graders in this country are not able to correctly order 3 fractions, even though this is a 4th grade standard. Let that sink in for a moment. This is content they should have learned four years earlier. Even worse, only 24% of eighth graders were able to figure out that the sum of  ⅞ and 12/13 is close to 2. What’s the take home lesson from all of this? The strategies we have traditionally used to teach fractions do not work. We need to take a different approach.

How have fractions been taught?

Just think back to your childhood. You’re in your 3rd grade classroom and you are starting a new unit called fractions. What are the images that come to mind? Pieces of a pie? Pizza?

But guess what? Leading researchers and mathematics experts, including Dr. Nancy Jordan from the University of Delaware and Dr. Hung-Hsi Wu from Berkeley strongly recommend against the pie model. They have recommended using the number line as a better way to teach fractions because it offers a more extendible understanding of fractions. The length model also lends itself to more real world applications (construction, architecture, sewing, manufacturing).

The pie model tends to reinforce the common misconception that a fraction is usually less than one. In reality, a fraction can be almost any point on a number line: 6/1, 24 ½ , 0/2, -¾ etc. Another enduring problem with the pie metaphor is that it makes fractions seem fundamentally different from other numbers. If students’ mental images of a fraction are wedge-shaped, what does it then mean to add, subtract, multiply and divide that wedge by other wedges? What is ½ of a pie divided by ¼? There are very few practical applications of fractions operations that involve circular shapes.

It’s much more useful to think about fractions on a number line. Take the tricky concept of dividing by a fraction. Using the measurement model of division with whole numbers, you can think about 16  ÷  4 as how many 4s you can fit in the length 16. Using that same model of division with fractions, ½ ÷ ¼ , you can think of how many ¼-length pieces fit inside ½. You can probably even think of a circumstance in real life when you’d need to divide by a fraction. If you have a ½ foot wood board and you need to divide it evenly into ¼ foot pieces, how many pieces could you make?

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To address the deficit in fractions knowledge, we applied for and received grants from the National Science Foundation to develop a suite of fractions apps that focus on the number line model. We recently released our first fractions app, Fractions Boost EDU. To pilot it for free,  click here.   


Read our blog post about Teachley: Fractions Boost EDU here. )

Introducing Fractions Boost!

Are your students confused by fractions?

If so, you are not alone. Fractions is one of the most difficult math topics for elementary students, yet couldn’t be more important. Research shows that developing a strong understanding of fractions is the foundation for future math success. For this reason, the National Science Foundation recently awarded Teachley a grant to develop a series of fractions games. We are extremely excited to announce the beta launch of our first game, Teachley: Fractions Boost EDU, now available for Teachley premium subscribers. Not a premium user? Sign up to pilot here.


To download for FREE on your iPad, go to bit.ly/TeachleyApps.

Or, if using Apple’s VPP, bit.ly/BoostVPP




Teachley: Fractions Boost EDU is the school version of an exciting 3D racing game that helps 3rd-5th grade students gain conceptual understanding of fractions and represent them on a number line. Students race through a futuristic game world, driving through number line checkpoints and fraction tunnels.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 2.20.53 PM

Students drive through racing checkpoints, estimating where fractions fall on a 0 to 1 number line. If they need help, their dashboard provides a series of supportive hints and scaffolds that help students develop an understanding of the meaning of the numerator and denominator. For example, for the fraction ⅔, students are prompted to “tap 3 times” to split the number bar into 3 equal segments and then “move 2 segments” to find the solution. This engaging game covers all 3rd grade fractions standards, and students learn to compare fractions with the same denominator or the same numerator and determine equivalence.


Fractions Boost also motivates students through social engagement. Students design and build tracks to challenge their classmates. In order to a share a track with the class, you must first pass that level yourself.

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Beta launch:
We decided to launch a Beta version of the app for our premium school customers as soon as possible so we could gather more feedback on the game before launching a full commercial version (expected later this spring). We’d love to hear how your students learn from the game, how we can enhance their understanding, and any other suggestions for improvement before we finalize the game design and professional audio recording. Not a premium customer but want to try it out? Sign up here to pilot Fractions Boost and our other math games for free.






FETC 2017 Teachley Giveaway

FETC 2017 giveaway


Hello teachers and tech coordinators!!!


In honor of this year’s FETC, we’re giving away a month access to Teachley’s EDU apps for FREE!

To get started:

  • Create a Teachley account at: signup.teachley.com using promo code: fetc17
  • Download our EDU apps and the Teachley Connect app at bit.ly/TeachleyApps
  • Login to your account in the Teachley Connect app with your email and password.*
  • Have students start playing any of our EDU apps.
  • Check your teacher dashboard at www.teachley.com or within the Teachley Connect app to see student progress, print their certificates, and access lesson plans and more activities.

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*Please note: It may take up to a day for your account to unlock the apps.


Questions? Reach out to us at info@teachley.com


Tips for Evaluating Apps

If you have iPads in your classroom, one of your on-going tasks may be to look for great educational apps. This can be a lot of fun, but it can also be quite daunting. With over 80,000 education apps in the App Store, how can you (quickly) find the best of the best?!


Here are some helpful tips and questions to ask yourself before getting started.

  1. Have a plan. Before you start looking for apps, think about what you want and why.

What types of apps are you looking for?  

  • First grade math apps?
  • Open-ended or creative apps?
  • Teacher resource apps?
  • Parent communication apps?

How do you plan to use the app in your classroom?

  • Help you teach specific skills (e.g., demonstrate the distributive property or decoding words with long vowels)? Check out our blog post, “Teaching with Apps” for some great instructional tips.
  • Document student work or create digital portfolio pieces? (See our blog post on how to App Smash by using a combination of content apps and open-ended apps here).
  • Provide extra, targeted practice that keeps students engaged? (e.g., independent math fact practice, e-books)
  • More easily communicate with parents?


  1. Don’t do it alone. There are many websites dedicated to reviewing apps designed for kids and so these can be a great starting point. Here are just 5 sites we love and why.
  • Balefire Labs: We love Balefire Labs’ use of research to inform its evaluation process. The review criteria used comes directly from research on how kids learn.
  • Common Sense Education (formerly Graphite): In addition to reviewing apps in-house, teachers can also provide their own reviews. The site also offers a variety of educator resources such as teacher-created lesson plans, webinars, and videos.
  • Children’s Technology Review (CTR): Also research-based, CTR’s rating scale takes into account the intent of the app (e.g., designed to teach vs. video game; classroom or home use, etc).
  • ClassTechTips: This is a great resource to find apps and tips for integrating tech in the classroom from former teacher turned Curriculum and EdTech Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator, Monica Burns.
  • Edsurge: Find a variety of apps and other edtech tools catalogued on this site, learn about upcoming conferences and summits where you can meet with developers, and read important edtech news and tips for integrating tech in your classroom.


  1. Use an evaluation rubric. What features are most important to you? (Keep in mind, this may change depending on what you’re looking for.) Take a look at the rating scales used by the app review sites above, or feel free to use this evaluation resource created as part of Teachley Co-Founder, Rachael Labrecque’s dissertation research. Click here to access it.


  1. Test the apps. Play through the apps yourself to get a good sense of the experience the app provides. Learn what the app does, doesn’t do, and better understand how you could use the app to supplement your instruction, not just provide extra practice. Importantly, have your students test the apps! You’ll quickly find out whether the apps you’ve selected will maintain your students’ interest. If the app offers progress monitoring, take a look. See what kind of information you can get from your students’ gameplay and consider how that information can inform your classroom instruction.


  1.  Evaluate and reflect.
  • How well did the app do what you wanted it do?
  • How well did your students respond to the app? Keep in mind, engagement is just one aspect. How well did the app teach or reinforce concepts? How easy was the app for students to navigate on their own?
  • How well did the app fit with your instruction and intervention needs?
  • What features do you wish the app had but didn’t? Don’t be afraid to reach out to the app developer. We LOVE to hear from teachers using our apps. Your feedback is what helps us to continually improve.


What criteria do you use when evaluating apps? Share what’s important to you! Tweet @teachley #evaluatingapps

Teaching With Apps

There are many different ways to integrate apps in the classroom. Here are some suggestions for maximizing the effects of apps on your students’ learning.


Instructional strategies.

mauri's kids on ipads

Math centers: A great option for encouraging independent or partner practice.

Small groups: Using a Teacher profile, demonstrate a particular skill or concept as part of your targeted small group instruction.

Whole group: Introduce an app, features of an app, or demonstrate a particular concept or skill with your whole class by using an Interactive Whiteboard, Apple TV, etc.

Intervention: Target intervention efforts for students by setting aside additional time to practice independently, with a math coach, special education, or intervention teacher.



Teaching with apps. Use an app to help teach particular concepts or skills, such as modeling addition strategies to your class, in small and/or whole group lessons. For an example on how to do this, here’s a short video on how to use Addimal Adventure to teach Counting On.

For more instructional videos like this, log into your Teachley dashboard at www.teachley.com and go to PD Resources.

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Documenting for student portfolios. Encourage students to add to their digital portfolio by documenting their learning. One technique for doing this is called App Smashing. When playing an app, have students take screenshots of particular learning moments (i.e., a strategy they used) then upload that screenshot (or a series of screenshots) into another app, such as Explain Everything, Educreations, or even the Notes app to explain their thinking, teach another student how to solve the problem, etc. Click here to learn more about App Smashing.


Assessing with apps. Apps have much potential for replacing many tests given to students. By reviewing students’ gameplay data, you can track what students understand and where they’re struggling. Then, use this information to target your instruction. For example, five students struggle with 7 and 8 multiplication factors while three other students are still working on 4-factor problems. Use this information to then tailor your small group lesson for these two groups of students. To learn more about the types of data reporting and intervention features Teachley offers, click here or send us a quick email at info@teachley.com.


What are some other ways you integrate apps in your classroom? Tweet your instructional tips: #teachingwithapps @teachley.

App Smashing: What is it?

You’ve probably heard the term “App Smashing” in passing, or seen us present about it at NCTM or ISTE but maybe you are still a bit unsure about what exactly it means or how you would try it in your classroom. Summer is the perfect time to learn.


So, what is App Smashing? According to Greg Kulowiec, an award-winning teacher who coined the term, it is “the process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project.”


One of the best ways to app smash in the classroom is by combining content apps with creativity apps (iBook creator, Educreations, Explain Everything). Students can learn and practice skills, building understandings through rich content apps and then integrate what they learned by sharing their thinking with creativity apps. Here’s an example of you could use it in a K-2 classroom:

App-Smashing Addition

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Addimal Adventure is an award-winning addition app for K-2nd grade students that focuses on teaching effective strategies to solve addition problems (count all, count on, doubles, make 10).

  1. Have students play Addimal Adventure and take 2-3 screenshots while they are playing. (To take a screenshot, hold the home button at the bottom of the screen and the power button on the top right of device at the same time on your iPad. The screenshot will be saved in the camera roll.) Encourage students to take screenshots of how they solved a problem, a strategy they used or an “aha” moment they might have had.
  2. Have students use a creativity app to share how they solved a problem or what they learned. There are lots of ways you could structure this part of the activity, for instance, students could create an Addition iBook or create a screencast with audio that shows their thinking through a strategy. Educreations and Explain Everything are great examples of screencasting apps. NOTE:  If you haven’t used an app like Educreations, make sure you create a teacher account and get a class code to give to students before they play. Play around with the app this summer to understand how it works. Students may need to be logged into your class for their work to be saved and easily visible to you. Some parts of these apps are paid, so be sure you fully explore your options and understand what you are using.
  3. Here are some steps students could use to App Smash using Educreations:Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 12.19.09 PM

Here’s an example from a K-1 classroom in Maine. From the student’s screencast, you can clearly see that she understands the Count All strategy.


In the next example, the student uses the Count On tool to solve a problem. However, when she explains her work, she does not use the visual model correctly to count on 4,5,6,7. Rather, she regresses to counting all the blocks (a less efficient strategy). After seeing this app smash, you could intervene with this student by reteaching the Count On strategy.


Still need help? Watch this short video on how to introduce App Smashing in your classroom: 


Finally, share how you are app smashing our apps with your students by emailing us at info@teachley.com.


Have a smashing good time! 


Don’t forget to try all 4 of our award-winning math apps: bit.ly/TeachleyApps.