March 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

“Osmo Numbers” Wants to Make Learning Math more Fun

OSMOBoy-Concentrating-1If any subject could use a more dynamic, hands-on approach, it’s math. Enter Osmo Numbers. With this latest product for the Osmo platform, released today, users position physical number tiles in front of an iPad to solve math problems.

Featuring an underwater theme, Osmo Numbers challenges young learners to release a fish captured in numbered bubbles back into the water. Like previous Osmo games, Numbers involves app software and a small attachment that works with the iPad’s camera and artificial intelligence to enable Osmo to discern what you’re doing.

OSMO_MultiplyAs numbers appear on screen, players combine the tile pieces to reach that number, popping the bubble and releasing the fish. Unlike static worksheets, the game accommodates alternative ways to solve math problems, as well as group problem solving. The application, designed “for all ages,” according to the website, teaches basic operational skills, from addition to multiplication.

Through a new partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), Osmo Numbers is compatible with HMH math programs Go Math! and Math Expressions.

A Palo Alto-based company founded in 2013, Osmo is now used in 4,000 schools worldwide, according to a release. Chad Sansing called Osmo “undeniably neat” in SLJ’s January 2015 review “IPad Games Blend with the Physical World.” He added that the platform “could work well at a station in a learning space with iPads for small groups.”

Osmo would be appropriate for public library maker spaces, says Karen O’Dell, Osmo’s Head of Community. There is a public library near our office which is a big supporter of our product and occasionally hosts demo events that have a waiting list.”

Kathy Ishizuka About Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka ( on Twitter) is the Executive Editor of  School Library Journal.

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