Hands-on Equations 1

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Hands-on Equations 1 App Poster Image
Learning method "balances" fun with basic algebra concepts.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Learn algebra concepts visually through step-by-step lessons, virtual manipulatives.

Ease of Play

Tutorials before each lesson. Lessons gradually grow conceptual understanding as well as user interaction. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

App includes video promotions for the Hands-on Equations manipulative system used in classrooms.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hands-on Equations 1 is an algebra education app for kids age 8 and up. Based on a popular hands-on math game used in many schools, this app uses visuals to help kids understand the algebra concepts beyond the numbers. Six step-by-step lessons on this introductory-level app include video instruction as well as an interactive balance scale that's used to show how equations "balance." There's also one review lesson. This is a fun, interactive way to learn about algebra. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To use HANDS-ON EQUATIONS 1, add your username and tap Lesson 1. View the video, and then go to the lesson problems. Scroll through the numbers to insert the correct answers by using the on-screen pieces to balance equations. To balance equations, kids take away the same objects/values from both sides of the scale. If you need more explanation, tap Help. If you have multiple kids, you can add more profiles. You can turn off the music, if desired. 

Is it any good?

This is an amazing way to learn and practice algebra concepts within a kid-friendly, proven, step-by-step method. Even though Hands-on Equations 1 looks a little old-school and doesn't have the animation and other wow factors that are standard on many math learning apps for elementary school-age students, it's as fun -- and perhaps even more engaging -- because it's so easy to follow. The gradual lessons, clear visuals, audio instructions, and opportunities for help and review take the stress out of learning math concepts. Hands-on Equations is a low-stress, boredom-busting app for kids to learn or practice algebra, and it may be an excellent way for kids using the same system in school to practice at home.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Hands-on Equations 1 is a fun way to learn algebra. If your kid is struggling with math, encourage him or her to keep an open mind and try this app to learn algebra in a different way.

  • If your kid doesn't like math, try ways to introduce concepts with visual aids, songs, or kinesthetic learning. You never know what will spark kids' interest or help them understand a concept that they couldn't understand before.

  • For more ideas on how to make math fun, check out Common Sense Media's list of Best Math Games, Websites, and Apps for Kids.

App details

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