The DragonBox Numbers website offers a learning guide that explains the pedagogy behind each aspect of the game and suggests some ways for teachers to support kids' learning through the app. It's worth taking a quick look to orient yourself and understand more about what the games offer. Teachers can create up to four accounts on each device. Though it's ideal that kids would play under their own accounts, it's not vital. As learning is meant to be seamlessly embedded within the experience of exploration and gameplay, let kids freely explore the games. Stand by, however, to provide help and support in kids making the leap toward explicit understanding of what they're doing. Ask questions such as, how many different ways can you make the number 10? How can you make numbers bigger and smaller? Let kids play with 3-D math manipulatives to encourage the same kind of learning off the screen.Continue reading Show less
DragonBox Numbers surreptitiously introduces kids to basic number concepts through puzzles, challenges, and free play. "Nooms" represent each number from 1 to 10. Kids can stack Nooms, have them "eat" each other and turn into different Nooms (for example, 3 eats 5 and becomes 8), or slice them into smaller Nooms. In the sandbox, kids freely experiment with the Nooms against a number line. In "ladder," kids build a Noom to reach a star on a number line, which gets more challenging as they want to avoid or pass through certain points along the way. In "puzzles," kids create pictures using the Nooms in certain ways. All activities earn coins that kids can use to "buy" more levels.
Silly Nooms get kids interacting with and manipulating numbers in this set of creative games. DragonBox Numbers joins the other games in the DragonBox series as a stellar example of seamlessly incorporating important mathematical concepts into a fun game environment. The three play areas offer a good combination of free exploration and goal-oriented challenges.
The games purposefully do not have any explicit help, but sometimes it feels like a little explanation would actually help avoid confusion. For instance, the Nooms could have some defining feature, other than their height, that helped identify which number they are. This would also help make difficulty levels on which kids must construct Nooms to match the target Noom identified only by its face make more sense. And, the support that's included is inconsistent: For example, when kids add a number 2 Noom with a number 3 Noom, sometimes it says, "two plus three, five," and sometimes it doesn't. Parents can sign up for an account to get reports on what their kids are doing, but that function is not currently up and running. And it would be nice to be able to turn the background music off. Despite these issues, there's definitely great potential here.
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