Is your child having a hard time understanding what algebra is? Or is he/she struggling with the basic concepts of solving algebraic equations? Do you yourself know how to teach basic algebra so that your children can have a head start in school?
If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, then let me introduce to you Monkey Party Learn Algebra by Language Pilgrim which does a good job in using simple representations to explain the basic algebra concepts and demonstrate the strageties to solving single variable linear equations. By turning the equations into word problems, students understand the concepts better and find the relevance in learning algebra at the same time.
Instead of starting off with abstract mathematical symbols, students are introduced to objects that represent the various parts of an algebra problem in a Monkey Party game – two balancing leaves act as both sides of the equation, the weight of different types of fruits represents the variables, a crate represent an unknown number of a fruit, balloons are used to represent negative numbers and barrels of water represent positive numbers. Clearing the water barrels symbolizes the combination of positive numbers while helicopters are used to demonstrate the process of subtracting an equal number from both sides of the equation.
In the games, students learn the strategies to solve problems while keeping the weight on the two leaves balanced at all times and earn fruits as they complete each game level. Each game level can be repeated but each time the elements are different. A dynamic equation is displayed at the bottom of the leaves to reflect the changes made by Cappy the Monkey or the students themselves. This helps students connect what they see on the balancing leaves to the abstract mathematical symbols.
Students will learn how to collect like terms (4xb+b+b = 6b), add or subtract numbers (without changing the balance) in order to simplify the equations so that only the unknown is on one side of the equation. To solve the equation, they will need to utilize all the 4 mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) on real numbers (including negative numbers).
Lessons are taught in small incremental steps through a series of progressive game levels with new lessons building upon the skills learnt from previous lessons. Equations get increasingly more complicated and students are guided with instructions, leading questions and reiterations to demonstrate and emphasize the problem-solving strategies. The gameplay itself gets more exciting as more items are added on the leaves and they have to be balanced quickly.
Besides the games cum lessons, there are also many opportunities for practicing the skills as well as additional games where students can use the fruits they had collected to make desserts for a Monkey Party. These activities work on fractions and graphs.
This is a rare app teaching algebra basics in an easy to understand approach and I would like to see it improved further with a few modifications. Firstly, each word problem should be accompanied by the corresponding mathematical expression and that the problem-solving process should be explicitly described for easy reference. Additionally, different crates of the same type of fruit should be labelled differently so that students won’t assume that they contain the same number of fruits. Lastly, a more effective placement of the dynamic equations such as just above the leaves instead of at the bottom.
I like how Monkey Part Learn Algebra enables students make real world connections to algebra which instantly helps them solve the questions. Algebra is no longer a difficult math concept but just a puzzle game where students use their mathematical skills to find an unknown value. The problem-solving process becomes meaningful for students rather than a abstract concept. Based on this strength alone, this app is a winner.
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.