Math Mondays: Dragonbox for Algebra

I don't talk a lot about technology and apps here, because I don't use a lot of apps in the classroom.  Also, I have taught more often than not in classrooms that have little more technology than a whiteboard. But, occasionally, I come across an app or piece of technology that I absolutely love to support other curriculum. One of those is DragonBox.

Dragonbox is an outstanding app for Algebra, although I like it in pre-Algebra as well to start introducing the concept of balancing and solving equations.

The way it works:

Objects or numbers and a variable appear on each side of the screen. The object is to isolate the variable in as few steps as possible. You can introduce positive and negative objects and numbers to solve for the variable. The levels get progressively more challenging.

What I love
  • It's simple and great for inquiry. When I first introduced it to a couple of students, I didn't give any instructions except to get the variable by itself.  The students played with it until they figured it out
  • It introduces algebraic thinking kids work with it to solve equations and discover how to think about how we move values between different sides of an equation.It differentiates. Students can work towards harder skill levels. Those that pick up the concepts quickly cam move quickly onto more challenging and complex equations.

I use DragonBox on the iPad. There is also DragonBox Elements for geometry concepts.  The program is a big hit with kids and most importantly, students gain better understanding of working with equations.  

For more great math resources for your classroom, check out the links below.  

Math Mondays is a weekly post sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching math.  If you have questions or think there is something I should share, you can leave me a message on Facebook or at the store in the question and answer section.



  1. This app is really neat! I am currently grading a mini-project I gave to my accelerated eighth grade math students that has a similar goal. My students had to create an equation given specific parameters and reflect on their process. Activities like my project and this app truly enhance student understanding of what it means to "solve an equation." Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love DragonBox! It has really helped some of my students (with learning disabilities) make connections. Hadn't noticed that they had a geometry version and I'm excited to look at it. Thanks for sharing & hosting!