You may consider using DragonBox Algebra 5+ in the classroom as a way to solidify concepts. Bear in mind that the full app buys the lesson levels, 100 bonus problems, and avatars for up to four players. Kids could theoretically share avatars, but part of the fun is unlocking levels.
Another nice feature is the printable resources, which help teachers migrate the move from the mobile device to paper. The website recommends teachers be mindful that the automatic features (for example, forcing players to add, subtract, multiply, and divide on both sides and updating equations on one line) will need to be adapted for paper-and-pencil problem-solving.Continue reading Show less
DragonBox Algebra 5+ teaches kids algebra in a refreshing and unique way. Ten chapters get increasingly complex, and drag-and-drop simplicity teaches kids to solve, balance, and reduce multi-variable equations and overcome fears about learning math. Kids get introduced to an algebraic concept with cute cartoons of baby dragons and non-intimidating language. For instance, the fact that integers in equations can be canceled out by their negative counterparts is called a "night card" or opposite. Players must then balance equations, and they can't make a move until they put the identical card on the other side. As the level progresses, pictures are gradually replaced with numbers and variables, but the actions (such as canceling out and reducing fractions and isolating X) become rote and mesmerizing.
Once the game is installed, students can customize and play with up to four avatars on the same device. Unfortunately, once levels are unlocked, they stay that way, so only the first students to play will get that pleasure.
Unlike many math games, DragonBox Algebra 5+ integrates entertainment and instruction so seamlessly that learning gameplay is essentially learning algebra. By the time kids "win" the game, they'll be shocked by how much they've learned. It's compelling because it replaces math language with the language of a game like Angry Birds. Kids will likely feel encouraged as they play because of the rewards system. Each level awards up to three stars: one for isolating the box (solving for X), one for completing the level in the right number of moves, and one for having the right number of cards. Kids have to solve levels correctly before they can move on to the next one. They get no hints, though, so they need to figure things out themselves.
Students will like the personalized avatars and the accessible intro tutorial that takes them through game basics step by step. Many kids will appreciate learning math without stale language, and teachers will definitely like how this innovative app can change the way students feel about algebra.
Key Standards Supported
Expressions And Equations
Write expressions that record operations with numbers and with letters standing for numbers. For example, express the calculation “Subtract y from 5” as 5 – y.
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 quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.
Give examples of linear equations in one variable with one solution, infinitely many solutions, or no solutions. Show which of these possibilities is the case by successively transforming the given equation into simpler forms, until an equivalent equation of the form x = a, a = a, or a = b results (where a and b are different numbers).
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Multiply or divide to solve word problems involving multiplicative comparison, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem, distinguishing multiplicative comparison from additive comparison.1
The Number System
Recognize opposite signs of numbers as indicating locations on opposite sides of 0 on the number line; recognize that the opposite of the opposite of a number is the number itself, e.g., –(–3) = 3, and that 0 is its own opposite.
Describe situations in which opposite quantities combine to make 0. For example, a hydrogen atom has 0 charge because its two constituents are oppositely charged.