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Early Math with Gracie & Friends™

Gracie and Friends

Target Audience: PreK
Subjects/Skills: Math

Early math learning has been found to predict later math and reading achievement, even more than early reading does. Early Math with Gracie & Friendsintegrates tablet-based games and non-digital, hands-on activities into traditional preschool routines to maximize young children’s mathematics learning. The collaborative apps are designed to support the social use of technology and joint media engagement. Children play together or get guidance from adults. Individual-play games are self-paced. All the apps provide just-in-time feedback. The development team included public media game designers and curriculum developers, researchers, experts in the field, and preschool educators and children.

The curriculum focuses on subitizing (knowing how many without counting) and equipartitioning (also called fair sharing). It integrates 46 hands-on activities with the use of eight math apps on an iPad. Each curriculum unit is designed to take approximately two to three weeks to complete and includes a holistic mix of digital games, hands-on classroom activities (read-aloud books, rhymes, learning centers), and outdoor play activities. Digital professional development and lesson plans support teachers in implementing the activities.

In addition, Early Math with Gracie & Friendsincludes a suite of family resources on spatial thinking (navigating, reading maps and diagrams, and following directions). This suite includes a ninth app and fun family activities that fit into daily routines.

This initiative is led by the GBH Kids group in partnership with researchers, at EDC, GBH Education, and preschool organizations.


Early Math with Gracie & Friendsis a first-of-its-kind mobile app series based in early learning sciences and rigorously researched and developed specifically for preschool classroom use. In a study (n=170) conducted by the Education Development Center, preschool children who used the app series out-performed peers who did not, after statistically controlling initial math knowledge (2016).

All resources are available for free from First 8 Studios at WGBH.

The apps (for tablets) are also available for free in the App Store.

Contact Us: education@wgbh.org.