Teachley: Fractions Boost App Review
Teachley: Fractions Boost is a program designed to help third through fifth grade students deepen and internalize their understanding of fractions and the places where fractions are located on a number line. Players drive down a futuristic highway full of hills, banks and curves, and more, and periodically are challenged to aim for a given fraction location on a number line. The app includes detailed assistance to help children learn, as well as tutorials and practice activities.
- Covers all grade 3 Common Core fractions standards
- Uses a visual and hands-on strategy to help students understand fraction concepts
- Boosts number sense and intuitive thinking
- Engaging game play
- Detailed tutorials and scaffolding to help students develop skills
Teachley: Fractions Boost is a high quality app that will help students in middle and upper elementary grades to better understand the fractions concepts typically taught in grade 3. The app is intuitive to use, and gives clear instructions to play the game. Tutorials are simple and concise, and use a non-nonsense approach to reviewing important concepts. A protected parent area gives detailed descriptions of the skills covered, as well as options such as social media connections and information about other games from this developer.
During review, however, I did have some difficulty with the app occasionally hanging up during play. For example, on one task requiring moving a slider to represent a given fraction on a number line, the slider never appeared, which meant I could not move forward with the content and had to get completely out of the game and turn it back on to proceed.
This app presents a powerful and effective system for helping students master the grade 3 standards related to fraction understanding. Players will be motivated to “drive” the car over the futuristic highways and to “crash” it into the number line at the appointed spot representing the target fraction. It takes a fair degree of eye-hand coordination to guide the car to the correct spot on the number line to successfully break through the barrier.
Developers did a good job of including tutorials to introduce challenging concepts, and the remedial practice portion of the app (activated when the player makes an error placing a fraction on the numberline) includes an option to divide the unit into the correctly-sized portions and try again. Students must do all items correctly to proceed to the next level. The app includes 12 levels, but does not have capacity to keep progress records for multiple students. There is a school version available at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teachley-fractions-boost-edu/id1203898615?mt=8, that mentions the capability of managing multiple students, but you need a “Premium Teachley Account” to find out for sure.
Middle elementary students are going to love this one. The racing/driving theme is nearly always popular with the age group, and the app even adds some more fun with a Painting section that unlocks after a few levels where users can decorate their vehicles. There is space for two other perks that are both labeled as “coming soon,” so hopefully developers have some creative ideas in store to add to the fun.
The main drawback, however, to the fun is the exact same thing that makes the app appealing to most kids. The race car must be aimed at the wall that represents a unit number line and must hit close to the target fraction. This will be a piece of cake for coordinated kids who have a good eye for such things, but if a child is struggling to understand fractions and/or has poor eye-hand coordination, it could get quite frustrating. It just may be a turn-off instead of a motivation for some.
This app costs $3.99 in the App Store, which is a very good deal for students who need practice on these fractions concepts and are able to play successfully. It would be nice if there were a trial version that kids could try out to see if they can manage the required physical skills to a level that they would have fun with the game instead of being perpetually frustrated.
This app is very child-friendly. There is a protected parents’ area that contains links, social media, ratings, and so forth. Users must enter an adult birth year to access the parent area, but typically if a child is old enough to do the math to figure out an acceptable year, he or she is likely old enough to avoid getting into too much trouble by connecting with the developers’ website, ratings system, or social media links.
- Protected parent area (contains external links and social media)
- NO 3rd party ads
- NO in-app purchase