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Hands-On Equations 1

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Paid
  • age 7+

About Hands-On Equations 1

Inspired by the creative Hands-On Equations program, the app makes it very easy to understand and learn algebra.  Hands-On Equations 1 contains 6 Lessons 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.

Teacher Review

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.

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.

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. 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.

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 the use of ‘legal moves’ - 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.

Level 1 of Hands – On-Equations consists of 6 new lessons and a review lesson 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.

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App Details

Teacher Ratings


Android, iPad, iPhone




Critical Thinking
Academic Relevance
Cognitive Development


In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No


Henry Borenson

Download Hands-On Equations 1

Screenshots for Hands-On Equations 1

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Teach your children the joys of learning algebra with Hands-On Equations 1 – the algebra app for children as young as eight!

“...ingenious app...makes it exceptionally easy to learn algebra..."- Dr. Alex Davidovic, former International Chess Master

Algebra can be a tricky subject to master but with the help of Hands-On Equations 1, equations such as 4x+2=3x+9 and 2(x+4)+x=x+12 become child’s play!

The app takes advantage of the Android's visual and touch features to demystify complex algebraic concepts.

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.

In Lesson 1, the student mentally tries to figure out the value of the pawn that makes both sides balance by using reasoning or a guess-and-check strategy. The game pieces do not move in this first lesson.

In Lesson 2, the student places the game pieces unto the image of the balance scale to represent both sides of the abstract equation.

In Lesson 3, the student uses "legal moves" with the pawns to simplify and solve for the unknown X.

In Lesson 4,the student learns to use legal moves with the cubes.

A video introduction is provided for each lesson. Each video introduction is followed by two examples and ten exercises.

Level I of Hands-On Equations consists of six lessons and one review lesson. The student learns to solve equations such as 8+2x+3-x=2x+1 and 2(2x+1)=3x+8. There are more than 80 equations for the student to enjoy and solve!

Hands-On Equations is the ideal first introduction to algebra for elementary and middle school students. Not only will these students have FUN and be fascinated with the program, their sense of self-esteem will be dramatically enhanced as they experience success with sophisticated looking algebraic equations.

Older students who need help with algebra will also benefit from Hands-On Equations. These students may, for the first time, understand key concepts of algebra that have held them back.

The app is designed to accommodate multiple users while keeping track of the problems solved by each user. .

About the inventor: Dr. Henry Borenson has taught mathematics to inner-city low achieving students as well as to Math Olympiad students at the Stuyvesant High School in New York City. After receiving a patent for Hands-On Equations, he founded Borenson and Associates to disseminate the Hands-On Equations program and the Making Algebra Child's Play workshop for teachers.  

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