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With the teacher resources and the rich content built into the game, it's easy to use DragonBox EDU to introduce, and then reinforce, algebraic concepts. Start by reviewing the Teacher's Manual, which can be found in the Pedagogy tab of the Teacher section. Then spend some time playing the game before introducing it to your students. You'll get a sense for the psychology behind how your kids will be learning.
When you're ready, have kids work in pairs to complete each level. Later, review the relevant concepts as a class. For the review, use the document called "DragonBox Algebra 12+ and the Rules of Algebra" -- it can be found in the Pedagogy tab. Later, have kids return to the game to complete the relevant practice problems individually, if possible. You can assign the appropriate printout as homework, or as additional practice to help kids build connections between concepts in the game and paper-and-pencil math.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: Dragonbox EDU is no longer available; however, Dragonbox still publishes a series of apps.
Dragonbox EDU is a Web-based version of the popular game that teaches kids how to solve algebraic equations. As they play, kids learn one of the most important concepts in algebra -- keeping equations balanced. They learn this by dragging and dropping objects on two sides of a diagram, reinforcing the idea that what is done to one side of an equation must be done on both sides. The game mode has 10 chapters, each with 20 levels. In the practice mode, kids can use their knowledge to solve more traditional equations. The game's main goal is to solve equations by isolating the dragon in the box on one side of the screen. Once they're successful, the dragon eats anything on the opposite side of the screen and continues to grow. Once all levels are complete, the next chapter is unlocked. Hints help guide kids who struggle, and after one unsuccessful try at a level, kids can click to see the solution.
Within the teacher section of the website, there are tips and resources for bringing Dragonbox EDU into the classroom. Among these are some printable documents to help reinforce the connection between playing the game and doing algebra in school. There are also some practice sheets, a reporting tool to track players' progress, a teachers' manual, and get-started guides for teachers and administrators.
Using DragonBox EDU, kids can learn how to solve algebraic equations in a truly unique way. They'll learn basic skills as they click on objects to make them disappear. Eventually, the dragon in the box will be alone. As learning progresses, kids can earn more "powers," such as combining like terms or dragging objects to make fractions. Eventually, kids have to isolate the box (which later becomes a variable) on one side of the screen. They key to success is doing the same thing to both sides of the screen, which models an equation. Through this innovative process, kids learn one of the most important and foundational concepts in algebra –- keeping equations balanced. Advanced chapters incorporate fractions, coefficients, and more.
The teacher section boosts learning by providing some excellent classroom supports. The worksheets encourage kids to apply concepts they've picked up in the game to a more traditional paper-and-pencil format. One included document about the rules of algebra draws a strong connection between the game and concrete mathematics. In all, the resources here help educators connect DragonBox EDU with their classroom instruction, something that's sure to engage kids in learning and enjoying algebra.
Key Standards Supported
Expressions And Equations
Write and evaluate numerical expressions involving whole-number exponents.
Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers.
Write expressions that record operations with numbers and with letters standing for numbers. For example, express the calculation “Subtract y from 5” as 5 – y.
Identify parts of an expression using mathematical terms (sum, term, product, factor, quotient, coefficient); view one or more parts of an expression as a single entity. For example, describe the expression 2 (8 + 7) as a product of two factors; view (8 + 7) as both a single entity and a sum of two terms.
Evaluate expressions at specific values of their variables. Include expressions that arise from formulas used in real-world problems. Perform arithmetic operations, including those involving whole- number exponents, in the conventional order when there are no parentheses to specify a particular order (Order of Operations). For example, use the formulas V = s3 and A = 6 s2 to find the volume and surface area of a cube with sides of length s = 1/2.
Apply the properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions.
Identify when two expressions are equivalent (i.e., when the two expressions name the same number regardless of which value is substituted into them). For example, the expressions y + y + y and 3y are equivalent because they name the same number regardless of which number y stands for.
Understand solving an equation or inequality as a process of answering a question: which values from a specified set, if any, make the equation or inequality true? Use substitution to determine whether a given number in a specified set makes an equation or inequality true.
Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set.
Solve real-world and mathematical problems by writing and solving equations of the form x + p = q and px = q for cases in which p, q and x are all nonnegative rational numbers.
Write an inequality of the form x > c or x < c to represent a constraint or condition in a real-world or mathematical problem. Recognize that inequalities of the form x > c or x < c have infinitely many solutions; represent solutions of such inequalities on number line diagrams.
Apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, factor, and expand linear expressions with rational coefficients.
Understand that rewriting an expression in different forms in a problem context can shed light on the problem and how the quantities in it are related. For example, a + 0.05a = 1.05a means that “increase by 5%” is the same as “multiply by 1.05.”
Reasoning With Equations And Inequalities
Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients represented by letters.