I don’t often recommend paid apps on this blog. One reason is that they are difficult for many educators to obtain for their classroom, as I outlined in yesterday’s post. Another reason is that I feel that many of the paid apps have features that can be found in other free apps. However, every once in awhile, I run across a paid app that I think is unique and worth sharing.
I was recently given a promotional code for DragonBox Elements, and decided to test it out. Previously, I had reviewed another app by the same company, DragonBox Algebra 5+, for AppoLearning. (DragonBox 12+ is also available for older students, but I have not tried that one.) I was very impressed by the app, and have recommended it to parents who have young students with a high interest in math.
DragonBox Elements, like the Algebra apps, is designed to teach math “secretly.” The Elements version teaches Geometry (I think they should change the name, as “Elements” made me think that it was a science app), and is aimed at students from 9-11.
The app accommodates up to 4 different players (individually, not at the same time), and has three levels of difficulty. As advertised, it slowly guides you through basic geometric concepts by playing a game. After learning to identify different types of triangles and quadrilaterals, the player begins to “prove” geometric characters into existence. For example, if one is given a triangle that shows two congruent angles, then there must be two congruent sides – making it an isosceles triangle.
None of the concepts are explicitly taught. My daughter, who is 11, had the main complaint that she didn’t feel that she was learning anything. However, when I asked her to explain her actions on a level, she basically gave me the steps of a geometric proof.
Like DragonBox Algebra, DragonBox Elements is a good app to recommend to parents who want to give their children an entertaining, educational app. I think it definitely helps if there is an adult who can ask some guiding questions to aid the child in verbalizing what he or she has learned.