Algebra Touch

Nice twist to learn equation steps, not answers

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 3 reviews

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Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Skills

Critical Thinking, Math

Price: Paid
Platforms: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows

Pros: Students get encouraging words at each step.

Cons: You can't track how students are progressing, or if they're progressing at all.

Bottom Line: <em>Algebra Touch</em> breaks equations down into steps and describes them with such basic language that math-challenged students should improve.

Using Algebra Touch on their own, students should learn the basic steps of algebraic equations. But the app can also reinforce skills such as following visual directions, applying information students have learned in class, and identifying strengths and weaknesses in their understanding of algebra subtopics. One bonus is that teachers can use the app as an instructional tool in lessons for the entire class via AppleTV. A downside is that you can't track students' progress, so unless you're watching them work through the lessons, you can't tell who's catching on and who might need more help.

For students new to algebra, or any teen struggling to understand the concept, Algebra Touch teaches the basics step by step. They'll learn addition, variables, basic equations, negatives, and more, with a total of 20 topics.

Most lessons build on each other, and many appear to assume students know little to nothing about what's being presented, which is helpful: Each step is explained in the simplest of terms. Overall, Algebra Touch is an innovative way for students to practice algebra and build concepts, and a remarkably stress-free way to learn.

First, students choose a lesson. Then, a basic problem related to that lesson appears with a written explanation. Along with the written explanation comes an instruction ("Tap the +") telling kids what to do to make the answer appear. Kids then start the lesson, but they aren't expected to enter the final answer. Rather, they tap the steps involved, and then the app gives the answer. Talk about stress-free! At every step kids hear, "Very good!", "Wonderful!", or "Good job!" If they tap incorrectly, the image simply wiggles, encouraging them to try again. When they choose correctly, the next step appears, and finally kids arrive at the answer.

Lessons can be simple. In one addition lesson, kids drag and rearrange single-variable polynomials so like terms are together for easier adding. Practice problems -- which students can save -- are built into the lessons, too, and users can add more.

We might suggest more detailed instruction for new or pre-algebra students, as well as more complex levels for advanced students, but for most teens, this should help them improve understanding and provide that unicorn in math: positive reinforcement.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

In this positive, low-stress algebra intro, kids get encouraging words at each step of an equation and access problems in many ways. The screen only wiggles at wrong answers, so kids are encouraged to try again. 



Critical-thinking skills will help kids clarify what's happening and reflect on how each step will, or won't, lead to the right answer.


The user interface lists lessons in order of difficulty and provides clear direction. It's so well-organized, you don't need a tutorial.

Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

Great free algebra tool!

I liked this app! This app also falls under the Modification level on the SAMR guide. This is because Algebra Touch allows for technology for significant task redesign. This app is able to achieve this by focusing on smaller pieces and accomplishes more focused practice for the student. Another highlight of this app is that it is free (not $2.99 like indicated in the other reviews) to download so it a great feel to use as additional practice in and outside of the classroom. Therefore, this app provides helpful practice for students to understand and sharpen their algebra skills. I would recommend this app.

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