The Fun Way to Learn Algebra

Category: Maths

Ages: 11-14
Price: Android - Free

Algebra can be a source of considerable confusion and negative attitudes among students. Nothing strikes fear more than algebra and teachers nowadays turn lessons into games and challenges just to spark interest. But Dr. Henry Borenson made algebra a child’s play with the ‘Hands-On Equations’ approach. The method has transferred to the digital age and is available on both iOS and Android devices and we have to say that it is a very useful app for both teachers and students. We highly recommended it and the app receives a 5 star EAS rating.

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User Reviews

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Teacher Review

We can’t think of another way to embrace algebra other than with an app like ‘The Fun Way to Learn Algebra’ by Henry Borenson.  We are confident that this learning tool will help many students and ease the work for as many teachers. We tested the Android version which is free and gives you a taste of the paid versions for this app.
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.
To get started you have to go through an introductory video by Dr. Henry Borenson, the creator of the app. He explains very clearly what are the concepts used and what is expected from the user. This free version of the app and includes just 3 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. 
We are testing the app on a Nexus tablet and everything is easily accessible. The quality of the video instructions is very good and going through them before the lessons is very useful because they explain what are the new concepts introduced.
Students get to see a balance scale that represents the two sides of the equation. The unknown values are presented by blue pawns and ‘X’ symbol. The known constants are red number cubes. Students have to find the value of the pawn to have both sides balancing. You can choose values from a drop down menu and then you can check your answer. There is also an auto check option that will give the sum for each side of the scale. In Lesson 1, the icons do not move and it’s just a matter of choosing the correct value. The exercises are challenging and the level of difficulty increases with each exercise.
Make sure you go through the video instructions as this will help you understand what you have to do. We tried to cheat the app (press forward on the video until it ends) because we were eager to check out the exercises and we were left surprised as we were not sure what we had to do. So, we went back to the video and realised that for Lesson 2 students have to pick the game pieces and try to create a ‘physical’ representation for the two sides of the equation. For example, we had to solve the following: ‘3x +1 = x  +7’. So on the left side of the balance scale we placed 3 pawns and number 1 and on the right side just 1 pawn and number 7.  The unknown value was 3 and it was easy to find by having it displayed like this.
Lesson 3 also will ask you set up the values on the balance scale. The new concept learnt will be that if you take 1 pawn from each side the scale will remain balance. This will help students simplify more elaborate equations. To check your equation you have to set up the original problem by re-adding the pawns back on the scale. Moving and releasing the pawns is very easy and the feedback you get is helpful. 
‘The Fun Way to Learn Algebra’ is a very useful app that can be linked to curriculum and used in the classroom. This creative method based on a visual approach will complement traditional teaching methods. We found the app easy to use and we recommend it for students in primary and secondary education. 
The app also has 1st party advertising, promoting the full version of the app – ‘Hands On Equations 1’ that can be purchased for just £ 3.17 and will give you access to 6 more lessons and allows multiple users. You can read more about it following this link.(link to the review page)

From the Developer

Teach your children the joys of learning algebra with Hands-On Equations 1 Lite – the fun, FREE algebra app for children as young as eight! With an intuitive visual interface, Hands-On Equations has proven itself to be the best algebra app for kids on the market. And now it is available for the Android app and phone.

Algebra can be a tricky subject to master but with the help of Hands-On Equations 1 Lite, equations such as 4x+2=3x+9 become child’s play! In three easy lessons the young student obtains a feeling of success and a sense of mathematical power in solving sophisticated looking equations.

The original Hands-On Equations program, using physical game pieces, has already helped more than a million students gain confidence with algebra. Now that same, proven method is available virtually in the palm of your hand__ for FREE!

A short, helpful introductory video by Dr. Borenson, the inventor of Hands-On Equations, assures and encourages young students that algebra is fun and easy to master.

This FREE app gives students a taste of the same in-depth algebraic experience they will have with the paid version of Hands-On Equations 1.

This is how the App works:-
•The unknown X is represented by a blue pawn on the Android screen while the constants are represented by number cubes.
•In Lesson 1 the icons do not move. The student uses thinking or guess and check to solve the equations.
•Beginning with Lesson 2, the student places the game pieces on the balance scale to represent the two sides of the equation.
•Beginning with Lesson 3, the student simplifies the equation by removing pawns from the balance to solve for the unknown X.
•The student verifies his/her solution by resetting the problem to conduct the check.
•Feedback is provided to the student in the check phase of the problem.
•Simple touch features are used to move the pieces around.
•An expert instructional video is included for each lesson.
•An intuitive user interface makes the app easy to use.

Hands-On Equations 1 Lite is perfect for introducing algebra to kids (or adults) in an entertaining and fun way. The app will boost their self-esteem and give them the confidence to take on even more complicated equations! Download this FREE app today and see how much fun and how easy algebra can be!

For more information on Hands-On Equations, visit

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Learning Outcomes

Key Features

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - Yes - 1st Party

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