Education App: Slice Fractions (iPad/Android)

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Teaching fractions can strike fear to the heart of many primary/elementary teachers who understand that the concept can be very difficult for some young learners to grasp. We’ve mentioned quite a few apps on our EduApps page that can support development of mathematical learning in fractions, but newly released “Slice Fractions” (built for iPad or Android) carefully helps build confidence in the concept by encouraging players to slice lava and/or ice block to allow the intrepid young mammoth continue its journey.

wpid-Photo-30-Oct-2013-2052.jpgPlayers do not see any numerics until the second world, allowing time to get accustomed to the numerical representation of fractions. Plenty still happens during those early levels as the app introduces concepts such as ‘even splitting’ (USA common core 2.G.A.2 and 2.G.A.3)/sharing/dividing. The game covers the following fraction concepts: Part-whole partitioning; numerator / denominator notation; equivalent fractions; fraction ordering; and subtracting fractions from 1.

Developed by Ululab, with the help of maths learning experts from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), chief game designer, François Boucher-Genesse told us…

We have worked very hard to create a polished and intuitive experience that will allow children to understand fractions — the bottleneck of early maths education — by themselves

This is a great, engaging app that uses familiar game-play to attract young learners to start to understand the fundamentals of learning about fractions. Slicing the lava or ice reminded us of Cut-the-Rope or Slice-It apps, but that does not detract from the key concepts which the app supports to develop. The mammoth character is adorable yet does not distract from the task in hand, and the quirky hat rewards add scope for further enjoyment and comment. The cat-like volcano also adds great characterisation during play, especially as it releases the lava! The app is well-constructed, well-designed, and the execution through the levels is very well considered, suiting young learners at all stages of primary education.

Update: 17 August – Now with another 32 new levels, designed to see fractions through a different lens.

The app is priced £1.99 and available from the Apple App Store (<~Click here to view/buy); or at the Google Play Store (<~Click here to view/buy).

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