DragonBox App: An Algebra Game – No Math Skills Needed #mathchat #edchat @WiredGeekDad

I learned about DragonBox App about a month ago and the more I look at it, the more impressed I am. Jonathan Liu from WiredGeekDad did a great review, entitled “DragonBox: Algebra Beats Angry Birds”. And that title sums things up pretty well. I won’t go into detail, but briefly, some quick notes:

  • Visual, tactile
    • move around blocks to isolate what you’re trying to solve for
  • Day vs night cards to explain the idea of additive inverse
  • Teaches skills as you go without you realizing you are doing Algebra
    • In fact, no arithmetic is ever required
  • Two distinct trays, which indicate sides of the equation that need to stay balanced
    • If you drag card to one side, must do the same to the other
    • If you divide one card, must do the same to all other cards
  • To earn full points, must complete level using optimal number of moves
    • When solving, simplify as much as possible before you do anything more “complex”
    • Displays how many steps it should take to solve the problem and counter increments as you go
  • To earn full points, you must simplify each side completely

That being said, I don’t think you should sit your Algebra 1 class down with this game and expect them to magically start understanding what’s going on. I think this could be a really good tool to use in an Algebra 1 class, with good instruction. The game is just a tool. The teacher is the one to bring it alive and make it relevant… and facilitate that connection to the bigger picture. I tend to prefer tools that don’t do too much (if any) telling… That is my way of getting the students to start fumbling around, getting the discussion flowing, and (secretly) building logic skills. Then, we can discuss the concepts and bring it all into context.

Additionally, I will be recommending this app to all my friends I know who have elementary age kids! Great way to get those logic skills building :)
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3 thoughts on “DragonBox App: An Algebra Game – No Math Skills Needed #mathchat #edchat @WiredGeekDad

  1. thx for the post. Fyi we ve just released a game based on the same idea, but covering a much more comprehensive content. Fractions, signs, parenthesis, factoring… it starts off with the same 2 first chapters, and then comes the rest. It is called DragonBox 12+

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