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It would be fun to use DragonBox Algebra 12+ as a way to reinforce concepts. Kids can work in pairs to complete each level, but ideally, they'd work individually to complete the practice problems. The first chapter is easy enough that you could use it as a fun introduction to middle school algebra or to assess students' prior knowledge. Once kids complete a chapter, have them choose one of the equations from the game mode to write and solve using paper and pencil.Continue reading Show less
DragonBox Algebra 12+ is a fun and challenging game that teaches kids how to solve algebraic equations. Kids learn one of the most important concepts in algebra: keeping equations balanced. They learn this concept by dragging and dropping objects on two sides of a diagram, reinforcing the idea that what's done to one side of an equation must be done to the other side.
The game mode has 10 chapters, with 20 levels to complete for each chapter. A practice mode lets kids use what they learn to solve more traditional equations. The main goal of the game is to solve equations by dragging and tapping objects so the dragon in the box is by itself on one side of the screen. When kids are successful, the dragon eats anything on the opposite side of the screen and continues to grow. Once kids complete all 20 levels within a chapter, the dragon is finished growing and the next chapter unlocks. Hints help guide kids who struggle, and after one unsuccessful try at a level, kids can tap to see the solution.
Kids use gameplay to build a conceptual understanding of algebra. They learn how to solve equations in a truly unique way and then have the opportunity to assess learning in a more traditional practice mode. Kids start by learning basic skills as they tap objects to make them disappear so the dragon in the box is alone on the screen. As learning progresses, kids have to isolate the box (which later becomes a variable) on one side of the screen. The key to success is that kids have to do the same thing to both sides of the screen, which models an equation. Advanced chapters incorporate fractions, coefficients, and more. Earning points and rewards motivates kids to complete each level. The game also helps build critical-thinking skills, since kids earn the most points for solving equations using the fewest number of steps. DragonBox Algebra 12+ will engage kids to learn and enjoy algebra.
Key Standards Supported
Expressions And Equations
Understand solving an equation or inequality as a process of answering a question: which values from a specified set, if any, make the equation or inequality true? Use substitution to determine whether a given number in a specified set makes an equation or inequality true.
Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set.
Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. For example: If a woman making $25 an hour gets a 10% raise, she will make an additional 1/10 of her salary an hour, or $2.50, for a new salary of $27.50. If you want to place a towel bar 9 3/4 inches long in the center of a door that is 27 1/2 inches wide, you will need to place the bar about 9 inches from each edge; this estimate can be used as a check on the exact computation.
Apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, factor, and expand linear expressions with rational coefficients.
Understand that rewriting an expression in different forms in a problem context can shed light on the problem and how the quantities in it are related. For example, a + 0.05a = 1.05a means that “increase by 5%” is the same as “multiply by 1.05.”