ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -- As part of our continuing coverage of the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City, we turn the spotlight onto Bedtime Math. We spoke to Bedtime Math about the playful math stories and problems they share to help kids love and understand math in real life.
“We’re all about making math a fun thing you do on purpose at home,” said Laura Overdeck, the Founder of Bedtime Math. Part of the objective is to make math practice engaging and quick; just five minutes a day can be effective. The stories that Bedtime Math post are “really fun and lively,” said Overdeck, “showing kids that math is just awesome and a fun thing to do.”
Despite the name, Bedtime Math can be done at any time of day. On both their web site (bedtimemath.org) and their smartphone app, Bedtime Math posts daily bits of wacky math that parents can access for free. They also publish a series of children’s books, sponsor an after-school program called Crazy 8’s, and promote an engagement initiative called Parents Count, which helps parents spread the word about Bedtime Math to others in their communities.
“We need math in real life, and that’s all of us,” said Overdeck. “Everything from wondering if a warranty is worth it, to understanding statistics in the paper and whether you can believe them--there are so many things in real life that use math.”
Bedtime Math isn’t just fun and games; the research shows that it works to boost kids’ math skills. “Our app gets kids ahead three months in math skills in one year,” said Overdeck. And, the positive effects of Bedtime Math last long after kids stop using their materials.
Overdeck has found that not only kids benefit from using Bedtime Math. “My favorite thing about this job is when I get fan mail where people say, ‘This is the first time that I’ve loved Math as a grown up,’ and that’s what we want to do.”