A student's first year in algebra can be pretty intimidating. Making the transition between simple arithmetic and dealing with known quantities, to dealing primarily in unknown quantities and re-arranging numbers to solve for them, is a tough one to make.
How do you take the visual and audio learners in this digital age and provide them with an easy to follow pathway to success in learning and mastering this basic and key, yet difficult to learn, form of mathematics?
AppTreasureHunter.com suggests the following curriculum of applications to get your students started off on the right foot and walking steadily across the bridge of learning to achieve success in algebra:
Using this series of applications will go a long way to ensure success in your student's algebraic adventures.
Brief overview of these apps: (see full reviews below)
DragonBox+ is a revolutionary app that is actually a bit of a game. It starts with non-mathematical symbols and objects. Students are asked to solve puzzles using these symbols and objects. The objects are gradually replaced with numbers and variables and before you know it your student suddenly knows how to systematically solve the "puzzles" of Algebra.
Taking this to the next level is Algebra Touch. This app uses the same step-by-step approach to teaching algebra, but is now focusing primarily on mathematical symbols and quantities to teach pure and simple algebra.
yHomework is used as a companion application to homework problems after your student has graduated from both DragonBox+ and AlgebraTouch. With yHomework, your student will have a calculator that will solve algebraic equations and show him or her every minute step-by-step detail of how to arrive at the correct answer. This app can be used for several years of algebra. It will even solve equations that have more than one variable and show every step necessary to arrive at the correct answers.
With these three apps in your arsenal, and just a little bit of practice each day, you will greatly accelerate your pre-teen's learning of this vital subject.
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By: WeWantToKnow AS
Age Group: 12+
This application is simply amazing and comes with the highest recommendation I can make for an application. I only wish there was such an activity when I was starting in algebra as a child! It doesn't really "teach" algebra. It makes the student just KNOW algebra by osmosis. Your student or child will think they are playing a simple game, but little do they know that little by little they are actually learning algebra!
The game starts with boxes, shapes and pictures, which are totally unrelated to variables, numbers and math. Lesson by lesson they learn the basic rules of algebraic equations and how to solve them. Gradually the variables start showing up, numbers start appearing and arithmetic symbols start to be used - but not until WAY into the application. By then the student is already problem solving up a storm and completely conversant in how to "think" with algebra problems and solving them.
I can't believe something like this was dreamed up. It is utterly brilliant and should be mandatory in every school striving to excel their students in math.
Price: $5.99 Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later
By: Regular Berry Software Inc.
Age Group: 12+
This app is simply ingenious and extremely innovative. Regular Berry managed to make Algebra fun and simple without using silly gimmicks, odd tricks or other nonsense to get the point across.
The app starts at the bedrock of algebra and moves on up, adding more and more complicated skills, until finally the student is a master at basic algebra. This is accomplished with a simple click and drag approach using only numerals and standard algebraic symbols. No animals or boxes or other odd bits.
It's Regular Berry's patented user interface that makes this possible. Simple instructions prompt the student to arrange the numerals and symbols in a certain manner and then do calculations based on the new arrangement. This really is the basic simplicity of algebra, but the user interface of this app allows the student to visualize how this is accomplished.
This app is a must for any parent who is serious about helping their child easily master algebra.
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 7.0 or later
By: Ram Nathaniel
Age Group: 12+
yHomework is THE calculator companion you've been waiting for to help your student excel in algebraic problem solving. This app is a special calculator which greatly assists students in learning the step-by-step method of solving any algebraic equation, no matter how tough.
In the landing screen, the student is asked to put in the equation. The next screen shows the original equation and every arithmetical step taken with that equation to balance it out, isolate the variables and solve for them.
The functioning of this app is very clean and a lot of fun to use and will propel any student's understanding and skill in algebra to the next level and beyond!
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later