Inspired by the creative Hands-On Equations program, the app makes it very easy to understand and learn algebra. Hands-On Equations 2 continues with Lessons 8 to 15 plus a review lesson and also allows multiple users. Having helped more than 1 million students through the original gem using physical game pieces, the app is sure to impress even those who don’t struggle with algebra. We had great fun reviewing it and we awarded the app with a 5 star EAS Certification and the EAS Recommended status for its educational value.
Dr. Henry Borenson, the inventor of the Hands-On Equations program and apps, must have helped many teachers in their mission to teach algebra. We were very impressed by the simplicity of the app and how clearly everything is explained.
Priced at £2.47 the app is worth the money and more for helping struggling students to understand complex algebraic concepts.
The app opens with the main screen where you can watch a video to learn more about what is ‘Hand-On Equations’ - the physical game sets of this instructional method have helped more than 1 million students to be more confident and lose their anxiety around the subject. Students learn faster and understand better when problems are being visualised and this is what the app is best at.
Teachers and parents have to know that in the ‘About us’ page there are a few external links that can be accessed easily by students. We don’t have anything against external links to information, social sharing, etc., but they can distract students and take them out of the app. We always recommend creating a parental control for this type of links.
Before you get started you have to add new user/or multiple and to select one name to access the lessons. Each lesson has video instructions, that you have to watch until the end to unlock the practice tests and then to move to the 10 algebra exercises. The quality of the video and the instructions delivered are a big part of this app as they hold the key for solving all the exercises. It really feels like there’s a teacher explaining to you - with the added benefits that you can pause, go back and move forward.
In the exercises in Level 2 students learn how to solve equations involving a new symbol - an ‘X’ with a crossbar through it. This ‘star’ symbol is represented by the white pawn, which is the opposite of the value of a blue pawn. Being opposites, their sum is zero so if both the white pawn and blue pawn occur on the same side of the scale they may be removed without affecting the balance. The notation used for the white pawn is, as students will later discover in the exercises, the sale as ‘-X’.
There is also a review lesson with 10 exercises that will reinforce previous learning. We could definitely see this app used in a classroom environment or at home. Hand –On Equations 1 is a well balanced platform for learning algebra and will offer extra support to students who need more attention. We are awarding the app with the EAS Recommended Status and a 5 star EAS Certification.
From the Developer
"My kids say '5 stars is not enough! Give them 200 stars!'"
"This has to be the BEST app ever!"
This app is intended for students who have already completed Level 1 of Hands-On Equations.
In Level 2, the student learns how to solve equations involving the white pawn -- whose name is "star" -- as well as the blue pawn and the red cubes.
The white pawn is an unknown like the blue pawn. The value of the white pawn is the opposite of that of the blue pawn. Hence if x = 3, star = -3.
Since their sum is zero, when the white pawn and the blue pawn occur together on the same side of the scale they may be removed without affecting the balance.
The notation used for the white pawn is that of an x with a crossbar through it. It has the name of “star” since it looks like a star. Later on in the program the students learn to recognize “(-x)” as another name for star.
In Level 2 students learn to solve equations such as 4x+(-x)+1=2x+5 and 2x-(-x)=12.
A video introduction is provided for each lesson. (See the sample YouTube video at http://youtu.be/VFYQ47EAqZw.) Each video introduction is followed by two examples and ten exercises. It is essential for the student to view the lesson video prior to attempting the examples and exercises for that lesson.
Hands-On Equations is the ideal introduction to algebra for elementary and middle school students. Not only will students have fun and be fascinated with the program, their sense of self-esteem will be dramatically enhanced as they experience success with sophisticated algebraic equations.
High school students struggling with algebra will likely experience success and understanding for the first time as they work with this app.
The video instruction for each lesson will enable the user to continue with the success and enjoyment they had with the Level 1 app as they solve even more challenging equations!
More information on Hands-On Equations can be found at www.borenson.com and on YouTube.