How I Use It
As a supplement for students struggling with algebra concepts is my primary use for DragonBox. I model the simple problems with students, explaining that the bar in the middle is akin to a equals sign in an equation. I scaffold students in their initial attempts and then turn them loose to complete as many levels as they can. It works best in pairs currently as students can then collaborate to solve problems and attack any issues that arise.
I first read about DragonBox in the App Store and doubted it would be a good tool for learning. After downloading it, I realized that it is an exceptional app for showing young or struggling students how to master basic algebra concepts using pictures at first before moving into numbers or variables. I gave a small group that was struggling with single variable equations DragonBox and watched as they conquered each level. As they neared the end of the game, one student exclaimed they understood how to solve the problem they could not earlier. Only con I see is assistance is sparse when students are at a loss of where to start the process.