5 Dice: Order of Operations App Review
5 Dice: Order of Operations Game offers an endless stream of individual or multi-player practice with order of operations problems at any of five levels of complexity. Students are given five numbers and an endless array of operation and parentheses signs, allowing them to apply order of operations concepts to create equations that match the given target number.
- Single or multi-player over wifi (up to five devices)
- Higher order thinking
- Infinite problems
- Five levels of difficulty
- Competitive or cooperative play
5 Dice: Order of Operations is of outstanding quality. Developers included a virtual scratch pad in the form of a white board for calculations, a help screen that explains how to play, and a step-by-step overview of how to solve each problem. Even if a student wishes to skip a particular problem, the app demonstrates the solution before moving on. It would be nice, though, if the app had a “home” button on every screen, including the work screens where problems are solved.
This app makes an outstanding addition to math practice apps for home or classroom use. Order of operations can be a tricky concept for some students, and nearly all students need a lot of practice to master the skill. This game provides motivating practice in competitive or noncompetitive forms. It was nice to find five levels of difficulty; this makes the game very useful for a wider range of age groups. Younger users can work their way through problems using only addition and subtraction, can add multiplication and division when they are ready, and finally can learn about using parentheses to manipulate the equation and even add exponents. Students as young as fourth grade could use the lower level of this app, and middle school and high school math students will benefit from the more challenge practice options.
The app rolls five digital dice and chooses a target number. Players use the five numerals and an endless collection of operation signs (and parentheses and exponents at the upper levels) to create an equation whose answer matches the target number. This approach not only will help students practice and gain understanding of order of operations, but also will build higher-order thinking skills and problem-solving skills. This makes it much more effective than traditional practice with a list of problems.
Once a player believes they have the correct equation, he or she can submit it and see it solved correctly in step-by-step fashion using order of operations. Incorrect submissions are also solved in the same way, so students can see where their idea went wrong. They are given the option of trying again or creating a new challenge. The correct answer is shown before leaving the screen even if a new problem is selected, so students either solve the problem eventually or see the right answer.
This game’s appeal will lie in the game-like aspect. It keeps rudimentary records for each player, so students can monitor their own progress, or players can challenge classmates, parents or teachers on other devices who are nearby over wi-fi. The game also includes the option of playing with Facebook contacts or through a system called “Game Stream.” Older students (13 and up) who have accounts on these systems may find the game more engaging if they know they can challenge and compete with others.
It’s also very nice that players can work cooperatively on problems if they wish. By giving one problem to two or more players, they have countless opportunities to help each other out as they work together to solve the problem.
This is a free app, so it’s a fantastic value. It offers fun, effective practice on a challenging math skill at several levels of difficulty. The game-like format will make it fun for most students, so they are likely to play enough to improve their understanding of order of operations, too!
5 Dice: Order of Operations is not as child-friendly as it might be. The opening screen contains an email sign-up to receive a downloadable version of the game. Players also have unlimited access to social media opponents and to Game Stream play through the multi-player section. The “More Apps” link has directions to “press and hold” in small print, so middle school-aged players would have no trouble accessing the App Store if they chose to do so. Due to these aspects, it is recommended that this app be used for students in grade 8 or above. If you do not want your player to access these links, you may need to turn off your device’s wi-fi, which will also disable the multiplayer system.
- NO in-app purchase
- NO 3rd party ads
- YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)
- YES access to social media opponents and Game Stream
- YES email sign up on opening screen