Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dexteria Dots — Addition and Subtraction Concepts Through Dot Fun

I am seeing dots  big dots, little dots and every size in between. There are some with numbers and some without. Some of the dots even have dots on them. What do all these dots mean? It means BinaryLabs has released a fun game with dots that teaches addition and subtraction concepts! With four levels of difficulty for each of the three activities, Dexteria Dots will provide hours of learning fun for a child.

If you would like to download Dexteria Dots ($2.99, iPhone/iPad), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using our link:

The app does have access to email and the developer's webpage, but they open within the app and are located behind a parental lock. There are no links that take the user outside of the app.

Dexteria Dots teaches children basic math concepts, such as addition, subtraction, bigger than and smaller than. The user manipulates number-value dots to solve problems. The concept of the game is to change dots into different values by combining and separating them. As the number-value of a dot increases, its diameter increases and vice versa.

Each level presents a series of problems by asking a user to make a certain valued dot and then presenting dots to start from. It times the user to set records, but there is not a time limit. The player uses slicing, tapping and dragging to change the values of the dots. A slice splits the dot into two equal dots that total the original amount when added. A dot can be split into dots with the value of one by tapping on it. A user can also drag individual dots out of or into another dot one at a time. There are so many ways to manipulate the dots. Which will be your favorite?

The main menu is set up for a player to work on combining, separating alone or to practice together. Each of these three activities contain four different levels of difficulty  beginner, medium, advanced and expert. Beginners start with dots that contain the numeral in the middle to show the value, along with a specific number of individual light dots on it that correspond with the value. As a player drags dots in or out, the number of dots inside and the number changes. The intermediate level takes away the number in the middle, but it leaves the dots that show the value.

Do beginner and intermediate sound too easy? The advanced and expert levels really take it up extra notches. The numbers and the extra dots are gone, and the user must go off of the size. Advanced does provide assistance by making each valued dot a unique color. There is no key to tell the amounts for each color, but as a person plays this feature does help out a bit. This practice will have a user on expert in no time where there is no difference in color. Tap, slice and drag until the correct dot value is made. Bonus dots can even be made for an extra challenge.

There are a few extra options available from the main screen. The sound can be turned off and the directions for how to play can be found here. A report button is located on the bottom of the screen. The report area holds the activity log with the option to email or clear data. There is an options button on the main screen that allows a user to email a friend about the app or to provide feedback about the app in an email. The email opens within the app once a math problem is solved to open the parental lock. A user can also clear best scores from this section. The last section that is able to be accessed is called For Grown-ups. This area is located behind a parental lock and contains the developer's website that opens within the app.

Dexteria Dots is designed for children ages 2-8, which is the age range that would benefit most from the math concepts taught. I believe other ages could also have fun playing. Practicing the early addition and subtraction concepts and learning about greater than and less than are very important foundational skills, and this app provides an engaging way to learn. I never knew seeing dots would be so much fun, but this app definitely makes it entertaining.

From iTunes:
Learning about Math has never been so fun!

From the makers of the award-winning Dexteria family of apps comes a new universal app all about Math. It combines the intuitive interface of a touch app with conceptual math challenges into a fun learning game for kids age 2-8.
- Aesthetically pleasing interactivity
- Endless gameplay with multiple mastery levels
- Cool sound effects and animations
- Sense of accomplishment

- Simple to use for even the youngest children
- Teaches fundamental Math concepts in an intuitive way
- Runs on iPhone and iPad
- Covers number sense, counting, greater than, smaller than, addition, and subtraction
- Supports several Common Core Standards

- Players must use visual tracking
- Helps practice visual memory
- Requires visual motor planning

Each dot has 4 attributes: numeral, pips, color, and size (e.g., a 4-dot is twice the diameter of a 2-dot).
At the Beginner level, all 4 attributes are displayed as kids solve problems. As the difficulty level increases, one attribute is removed, until they reach Expert mode where they must solve problems based on size only. Each level can be played as many times as they like, resulting in wide age range appeal and endless fun. Bonus dots provide some fun surprises along the way.

Our favorite comment during kid testing was from an 8 year old who was staring at the game screen, with her finger poised over the play field. When asked what she was doing, she said “I’m planning my next set of moves.” We could see the wheels turning, and it was very gratifying to see that an app with such simple interactivity could make for engaging cognitive challenges. Please check it out and let us know what you think!

We're serious about your privacy. This app does not track or share your personal information with us or anyone else. There is no user id tracking software, and no advertisements.
After focusing on a career change, Heather S. has been welcomed back to writing for Smart Apps consistently by having three posts due immediately after her vacation. Welcome back to her!

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