June 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

An Appealing Slice–of Fractions | Touch and Go

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In an earlier “Touch and Go” post, our reviewer Gretchen Kolderup outlined Tracy Zager’s criteria for a quality math app and provided some examples. The first Slice Fractions made that list. For that criteria, and other apps you might want to investigate after reading today’s review of Slice Fractions 2, see the post titled “A Mathemagician’s Playbook.”

 

There are a plethora of math apps available for young learners but not all of them combine a fun, engaging story with opportunities to practice of the core concepts involved in understanding fractions. Slice Fractions 2 (Ululab, iOS, Android; both $3.99 Gr 3-6) does so. It picks up right where Slice Fractions left off with the woolly mammoth on another journey, finding companions along the way. Users must slice and dice pieces of lava that melt ice chunks to clear a path that will allow viewers’ furry friend to move forward. While the app builds on the previous app, it works as a stand- alone, offering efficient practice of common core concepts hidden in a game-like interface. Users are likely to feel that they are gaming rather than learning, a bonus with the targeted age group. Colorful cartoon graphics and ambient sound effects (that can be switched on and off) add to the fun.
One of the strengths of the app is how it encourages students to try different approaches to solving a problem in progress. With no time limit, the pressure is off, though it may not always be intuitive how to move forward. This is actually valuable as it encourages strategic thinking and a creative approach to problem solving. There is a pause button that offers some options—but no help button, so there’s a “try, try again” component as well on some of the more complex puzzles. VERDICT In the end, appealing graphics and solid foundational exercises surrounding the parts of a whole make the second slice very appealing.Caroline Molnar, Worthington City Schools, OH
For additional app reviews, visit School Library Journal‘s dedicated app webpage.

Slice Fractions 2 (Ululab)

 

Daryl Grabarek About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek dgrabarek@mediasourceinc.com is the editor of School Library Journal's monthly enewsletter, Curriculum Connections, and its online column Touch and Go. Before coming to SLJ, she held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Her dream is to manage a collection on a remote island in the South Pacific.

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Comments

  1. Hi Daryl,

    I just wanted to thank you for the article. I’m glad you enjoyed the app. Let us know if you have any suggestions for improvement, we can always use them for our next app.

    Best,
    -Francois

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