DragonBox Elements provides a great opportunity to encourage kids to learn through exploration. Use it in the classroom to build on knowledge from more formal lessons. Kids could work in pairs or small groups, but when you register a user, the app asks whether the user is right- or left-handed -- so it’s a good idea to group kids accordingly. You could have kids explore a level and then follow up with the teacher's guide to discuss concepts. Then, have kids complete the level again as reinforcement.Continue reading Show less
Dragonbox Elements begins with a simple, nicely animated background story about a monster taking over a tower, offered in 17 different languages. Kids have to collect critters in order to build an army and fight the monster. They do this by solving puzzles. Kids can choose from two challenges: normal or hard. Once they choose a challenge, kids work their way through 10 puzzles in order to progress to the next level. The levels are organized into seven chapters, and kids learn new powers, or rules, in each chapter. As kids solve the puzzles, they develop an understanding of different geometric concepts. However, the game does not review or reinforce the concepts directly, so if you want kids to be able to transfer what they learned to another learning environment, it's important to use the teacher resources on the developer's website.
Learning is based on the exploration of definitions, properties, and relationships of geometric shapes through Euclidean proof. By solving puzzles, kids explore concepts including congruency, line segments, triangles (isosceles, right, scalene, and equilateral), quadrilaterals, circles, pairs of angles, and parallel and transverse lines. Each level progresses to a new concept that builds on the previous level. For example, kids learn the definition of a triangle in the first level by tapping three vertices to draw the three sides of a triangle. In later levels, kids learn about isosceles triangles and equilateral triangles by exploring their side lengths.
The critters in the puzzles that kids need to set free and collect appear in the same general form of the shapes that kids need to identify. This may not be obvious to some kids, so pointing this out could help those who are struggling as they try to solve the puzzles. Using the teacher's guide on the developer's website is essential if you want to reinforce skills and help kids fully understand what they are learning.
Key Standards Supported
Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.
Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures.
Classify two-dimensional figures based on the presence or absence of parallel or perpendicular lines, or the presence or absence of angles of a specified size. Recognize right triangles as a category, and identify right triangles.
Understand that attributes belonging to a category of two- dimensional figures also belong to all subcategories of that category. For example, all rectangles have four right angles and squares are rectangles, so all squares have four right angles.
Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor, and with technology) geometric shapes with given conditions. Focus on constructing triangles from three measures of angles or sides, noticing when the conditions determine a unique triangle, more than one triangle, or no triangle.
Understand that a two-dimensional figure is congruent to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, and translations; given two congruent figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the congruence between them.
Use informal arguments to establish facts about the angle sum and exterior angle of triangles, about the angles created when parallel lines are cut by a transversal, and the angle-angle criterion for similarity of triangles. For example, arrange three copies of the same triangle so that the sum of the three angles appears to form a line, and give an argument in terms of transversals why this is so.