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Dexteria Dots - Get in Touch with Math
Pros: High level of interaction and several levels of challenges appeal to a wide range of abilities.
Cons: Kids who are used to more traditional number sentences may struggle with the advanced levels.
Bottom Line: Fun, innovative math tool engages and helps a variety of learners practice and build fluency.
Dexteria Dots - Get in Touch with Math is a great tool for teaching, practicing, or building fluency in fundamental math concepts. You could use the beginner levels with kids who are just learning about addition and subtraction. Have kids complete the first level of each game option (combine, separate, or both) and evaluate their scores as a pre-assessment. Then, after kids learn about more traditional addition and subtraction number sentences, have them complete the same levels and compare their scores to the pre-assessment. Use the same process for older learners, but have them work in the advanced and expert levels and challenge them to earn bonus dots. As reinforcement, have kids choose several dot challenges to write as number sentences or equations.
Dexteria Dots - Get in Touch with Math is simple to use, but can challenge and engage kids with a wide range of abilities. The developer has targeted kids age 2 to 8, but even adults will have fun with the game. To start, kids choose from three options: combine (add), separate (subtract), or both. Each option includes four levels, from beginner to advanced. As kids start to play, a voice command tells them what value to make. Kids tap "Go," and manipulate dots by tapping, slicing, dragging in, or dragging out. If they are fast enough and know how to add or subtract different numbers to get the same value, kids can earn bonus dots. The app tracks scores and times, and these can easily be cleared for repeated play or sharing. You can even generate an email report to evaluate kids' progress.
Kids can learn how to combine math and critical thinking skills in a game that addresses several Common Core standards. The app focuses primarily on addition and subtraction skills, but kids can use additional skills like number sense, counting, greater than, and smaller than to help them successfully play the game.
Gameplay involves a touch interface, which kids use to either separate or combine dots in order to produce a particular value. For example, kids may be asked to produce the value 6, and they have to work with dots of varying sizes to make a 6. In the beginner levels, dots include four attributes: numerals, smaller mini-dots, color, and size. These attributes help kids determine the value of the dots. For instance, a red 4-dot is larger than the 3-dot and includes the numeral 4 and four mini-dots on its face. Young learners can count dots to add or subtract, eventually figuring out that larger dots represent larger values and smaller dots represent smaller values. As the difficulty level increases, attributes are removed from the dots. In Expert level, only colors are given. Older learners can use more advanced addition and subtraction strategies, along with speed, to earn bonus dots. Fun animations and ease of use make Dexteria Dots - Get in Touch with Math a great way for kids to learn, practice, and build fluency.