Dexteria Dots-Get in Touch With Math is an entertaining and hands-on app that offers practice on basic math concepts including relative size of numbers, addition and subtraction. The dots are sized according to their number, so a one-dot is very small, a two-dot is twice as big, and a four-dot is twice as big as a two-dot. Users slice off pieces that turn into dots, drag dots out of larger dots, or tap larger dots to separate out smaller ones. Dots can be combined by dragging a dot into another dot.
Covers several beginning Common Core Math Standards
Appealing animations and sound effects
Alternative to traditional teaching
Hands-on and manipulative
Encourages experimentation and intuitive understanding
Dexteria Dots-Get in Touch With Math is an innovative app that is well-thought out, with many features to accommodate learners in many stages. It allows for several mechanisms to combine and separate the dots, which opens the door to several types of experimentation with numbers. The app includes three skill sets (combine, separate, and both) and has four levels of difficulty for each, making it possible for students of many ages to play the game and learn at their own pace. The activities are timed, and records kept for a single user. There is a clear explanatory page that tells how to play, as well as various adult-only options to control aspects of the game.
Dexteria Dots offers a creative and hands-on way for young or struggling students to discover foundational math concepts, including developing number sense, learning about greater than/less than, discovering addition and honing subtraction skills. The foundation of the program are the “number-dots,” which are sized in proportion to their value. One-dots are the smallest and ten-dots are ten times as big. The developers did an outstanding job of providing support for beginning learners-the lower levels of the games include visual cues about the value of each dot as well as color-coding. Upper levels maintain the sound effects that tell the user about the relative size of the dot using pitch, but eliminate the cues used at lower levels.
This app does a great job of encouraging young users to experiment and explore number concepts. For example, when two dots are combined, the resulting dot gets larger. When a dot is split, the dots are proportionally smaller. The hands-on nature of the activities will make the learning memorable. It’s even possible that a student who is struggling with conventional teaching about math skills will have conceptual breakthroughs using this app.
In addition to the math concepts being taught, users are also practicing a number of fine motor and memory skills. The activities require various interactive motions, such as dragging, slicing and tapping. The sizes and colors of the various dots builds visual memory skills, and users must also use planning and prediction skills to choose the correct actions to perform and placements for the dots.
The makers of Dexteria Dots incorporated many entertaining features into this app. Multiple methods of combining and separating the dots make the activity itself fun. When a task is completed successfully, users are treated to quick animations of “dots with style” and engaging sound effects. It can be quite entertaining to see which type of reward dots and sound effects will come up next. In addition, the activities are timed and scores are kept. Users can compare their scores to the high score records, or try to solve the puzzles more quickly than last time.
This app is a great value. It will encourage students to engage with math skills at a fundamental level that will build intuitive understanding of the target concepts, allow children to learn important skills, and build visual skills. It has enormous play value, and is likely to become a favorite for most children.
This app is child-friendly. It contains no outside advertising or in-app purchases. There are protected areas that contain links to social media, email, and the App Store to find other apps by this developer. The protected areas have a somewhat weak protection scheme, consisting of a security question asking for the answer to a simple math problem (single digit plus single digit). This could easily be defeated by students that the app is intended for, so it would be better to have a more complex security system to prevent students from accessing parts that they should not.
Another possible drawback is that young users can also clear the score records without authorization. This might defeat a teacher or parent who wishes to keep an eye on progress or usage.