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Five apps for boosting middle school math skills


These five apps can help middle school students learn math skills such as geometry, estimation, and simple algebra

math
These math app reviews come from Common Sense Media and its free Graphite service.

Here are reviews of five high-quality digital apps that can help teach middle school math, courtesy of Common Sense Media and its new Graphite service—a free database of teacher-written reviews of learning technologies.

Slice It!

Grade range: 3-7

What is it? Divide and conquer with clever puzzles that build a geometry foundation.

Pros: Trial-and-error game play supports nimble discovery of concepts and strategies.

Cons: Lacks explicit connection between game principles and classroom learning.

Bottom line: A fun way for kids to jump into geometry with lessons on shapes, symmetry, and area.

Full review: http://www.graphite.org/app/slice-it

Questimate!

questimate-3-the-answer-is1Grade range: 4-7

What is it? Estimation becomes a fabulous math game.

Pros: Exposes kids to estimation in fun ways, with concrete math explanation.

Cons: Number ranges aren’t limited at first, so it’s easy for answers to be way off.

Bottom line: A great-looking, fully engaging math experience, from question to answer.

Full review: http://www.graphite.org/app/questimate

 

Algebra Touch

algebratouchGrade range: 4-7

What is it? A nice twist to learn equation steps, not answers.

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: Algebra Touch breaks equations down into steps and describes them with such basic language that math-challenged students should improve.

Full review: http://www.graphite.org/app/algebra-touch

DragonBox+Algebra

dragonboxalgebra5_smallGrade range: 4-8

What is it? Mesmerizing, step-by-step puzzler sets the foundation for algebra.

Pros: A truly elegant design integrates entertainment and instruction so seamlessly that playing = learning.

Cons: Some levels might be hard to solve without hints.

Bottom line: This innovative game-changer teaches algebra, changes the way kids learn it, and even changes how they feel about it.

Full review: http://www.graphite.org/app/dragonbox-algebra

 

Motion Math: Pizza!

motionmath-pizzaGrade range: 4-8

What is it? Serving up valuable economics lessons with an extra helping of fun.

Pros: The challenges and rewards of running a successful business will empower kids and keep them engaged.

Cons: Could use more instructions and hints for kids who need extra guidance.

Bottom line: Fantastic math game gives kids a taste of what’s needed to run a profitable business.

Full review: http://www.graphite.org/app/motion-math-pizza

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