Going Dotty over Math
Who knew dots could be so much fun? Dexteria Dots 2 uses different sized dots to visually show kids numbers, and then turns comparing the different sized dots into two fun, zen-like games. Both games have many levels of puzzles, broken into four levels of difficulty.
Two Games in One
From the home screen, kids select to explore "Make Equal Dots" or "Compare Dots." The "Make Equal Dots" game challenges kids to combine all the dots on the screen so that the result is two equal dots. At the beginner level, the dots on the screen have four attributes: size, numeral, a corresponding number of mini-dots, and a color. As kids progress through the four difficulty levels, an attribute is dropped in each, so that in the hardest, expert level, kids only use the size attribute.
With the "Compare Dots" game, the screen is split into two sides. Using buttons on the bottom of the screen, players select which side is greater or if both sides are equal. The game encourages kids to combine the various sized dots on each side so that they can visually see the comparison. As with the first game, there are four levels of difficulty which correspond to how many attributes are shown on the dots.
Both games are timed, so that kids replaying a level can try to beat their previous record.
Giving these dots four distinct attributes is a brilliant way to teach kids number sense. The size of a dot, as measured by its diameter, is proportionally correct, so that the 4-dot is twice as big as the 2-dot. Likewise the color is consistent, so that all 1-dots are the same color, as are 2-dots, 3-dots, etc. The mini-dots within a dot allow kids to visualize and/or count; and showing the numeral helps kids make the necessary connections to understanding what a number means and what it represents.
Dexteria Dots 2 lets kids manipulate the dots to organically play with numbers. By sliding two dots together, kids see what addition is, since the dot changes size, color, mini-dots, and numeral. They can also observe subtraction when they slice dots, drag smaller dots out of bigger ones, or tap on them to break them into smaller numbers that then can be rearranged.
The progression of slowly removing attributes to increase the difficulty of the puzzles is also very well done. In the intermediate levels, the numerals vanish. In the advanced levels, the mini-dots disappear. And in the expert levels, the color differentiation is also gone, leaving only size.
Dexteria Dots 2 uses fun animations to reward kids when they solve a puzzle. The dots magically appear to be alive, and the calm music erupts into a high-energy musical riff or the dots giggle or snort. Also exciting it the use of sound when combining or subtracting dots. Each action that players make creates a corresponding sound. This app turns learning about math into a fascinating, exciting game.
Any child who knows how to count can benefit from playing Dexteria Dots 2. In addition to teaching key math concepts, it also enhances kids visual tracking skills. Its sweet spot is ages 6-8, but it is engaging for kids as old as age 10.
This Dexteria Dots 2 app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.