A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dexteria Dots – Get in Touch with Math is a unique, engaging way for kids to build and practice fundamental math skills. Gameplay involves a touch interface, which kids use either to separate or combine dots to produce a particular value. For example, kids may be asked to produce the value 6, and they then have to work with dots of varying sizes to make a 6. Larger dots represent greater values, and smaller dots represent smaller values. There are three main options for gameplay, and each includes four levels. Since each challenge is timed, bonus dots are awarded, and most challenges have multiple solutions, the game is highly appealing to kids across a wide range of abilities.
What's it about?
DEXTERIA DOTS - GET IN TOUCH WITH MATH is simple to use but can challenge and engage kids of all ages. To start, kids choose from three options: combine (add), separate (subtract), or both. Each option includes four levels, from beginner to advanced. As kids start to play, a voice command tells them what value to make. Kids tap "Go," and they have to manipulate dots by tapping, slicing, dragging in, or dragging out. If they're fast enough and know how to add or subtract different numbers to get the same value, they can earn bonus dots. The app tracks scores and times, which can easily be cleared for repeated play.
Is it any good?
It can be difficult to engage and challenge kids in games that reinforce basic math skills. Dexteria Dots - Get in Touch with Math does a great job of doing both. On the beginner levels, dots have four attributes: numerals, smaller mini-dots, color, and size. These attributes help kids determine the value of each dot. For example, a red 4-dot is larger than the 3-dot and includes the numeral 4 and four mini-dots on its face. Younger kids can count dots to add or subtract, eventually figuring out that larger dots represent larger values and smaller dots represent smaller values. As the difficulty level increases, attributes are removed from the dots. On the expert level, only colors are given. Older kids can use more advanced addition and subtraction strategies, along with speed, to earn bonus dots.
Dexteria Dots - Get in Touch with Math is easy enough for young learners to play, but challenging enough to keep older learners engaged. The graphics are pretty simple, but this is one of the more appealing aspects of the app and does not distract from its value at all. Kids young and old will enjoy watching the dot animations when they get a correct answer. Since the math concepts are covered in such a unique way, some follow-up with traditional number sentences would help kids apply what they've learned to situations beyond the game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about ways to extend the learning. Have kids illustrate and solve their own dot challenges on paper.
After kids complete each challenge, have them write number sentences to show the addition and subtraction problems.
Keep kids' scores handy, and give them new goals to reach each time they play.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Math: addition, arithmetic, subtraction
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, thinking critically
- Price: $2.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: February 20, 2014
- Category: Education
- Size: 35.30 MB
- Publisher: BinaryLabs, Inc.
- Version: 1.0.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1 or later
For kids who love math
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.