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

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 12.07.14 PM

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


Have a smashing good time! 


Don’t forget to try all 4 of our award-winning math apps:


Teachley FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Teachley?

Teachley is an award-winning educational technology company founded by expert teachers with PhDs in cognitive science and funded by the U.S. Department of Education and National Science Foundation. Teachley’s mission is to transform teaching and learning by using app data to help teachers differentiate instruction and target interventions. Based on cognitive science research, Teachley’s apps focus on teaching important strategies shown to improve learning within fun and engaging games.


How does it work?

Powered by Teachley Connect, we bring together a variety of award-winning K-5 math apps into a single, game-based formative assessment platform. Students get a seamless, personalized gameplay experience across an array of apps while teachers get in-depth data reporting, intervention support, and instructional resources. Watch this short video to see Teachley in action.




What Teachley apps are available?

Teachley Operations includes a suite of four K-5 operations apps covering Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division.


While most fluency apps use drill-based approaches (e.g., digital worksheets and flashcards), Teachley’s research-based apps focus on teaching effective math strategies while scaffolding learning to promote conceptual understanding and fact fluency.



Our second product line, Teachley Fractions is in development. Stay tuned!

Sign up for our mailing list to be amongst the first to know when our fractions apps are available. 


What are Teachley-connected Apps?

We partner with other app developers to provide schools with a carefully-selected collection of Common Core-aligned apps. These apps sync with Teachley, providing schools a seamless login experience and rich formative assessment data on students’ progress.


I see two versions of the same app in the App Store. One is free but the other is not. What’s the difference?

EDU apps. Our EDU apps are designed for schools and work with a premium Teachley subscription. They sync with Teachley Connect to provide a seamless login and app management experience. Teachers can easily monitor student progress and access intervention support and instructional resources (e.g., lesson plans, instructional videos, etc.). Contact us to pilot Teachley’s premium services at your school.

Non-EDU apps. Teachers who do not have a premium subscription can access our award-winning content by downloading the non-EDU versions of our apps. These are also a great option for home use or extra math practice. Teachers and parents can create a basic account to personalize the learning experience for multiple children. Please note, a basic account does not work in the EDU apps and data reporting and intervention support are available for premium account holders.

Pilot Teachley for free. Sign up here.


How do I monitor my students’ performance?

Teachers with a premium Teachley account can log into their dashboard at and click on Reporting to monitor their students’ progress and access their intervention support.  


Don’t have a premium account? Schools and districts can subscribe to Teachley to provide teachers with access to in-depth data reporting, progress monitoring, and intervention support. Teachers can track students’ fact fluency, proficiency on Common Core standards, and a variety of math skills (e.g., mastery of the zero rule principle, specific multiplication facts students are struggling with, etc.). Intervention support allows teachers to quickly plan instructional groups and target lessons as needed.  Click here to try Teachley for free.


What’s the best way to use Teachley in my classroom?

There are many ways to incorporate Teachley in your classroom. Click here to read about helpful instructional strategies for effectively integrating apps into the classroom.  


Does my school need an iPad for every student?

No! Teachley works with ALL iPad programs, including 1:1 classrooms, center models, and shared iPad carts. Children can continue playing right where they left off on any device logged into your account.  


How do you protect my students’ data?

At Teachley, we take the protection of student data very seriously and have signed the Student Privacy Pledge.  

We do NOT:


knowingly collect personal data from children under the age of 13,



sell or share students’ personal data with any third party or use it for marketing purposes.


We DO:


protect all data using secure encryption for data in transit and at rest,


lightbulb use student data to support personalized learning and effective teaching.

Read our full Privacy Policy here.


Still have questions?

Contact us anytime at and we’ll get back to you right away!