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Crypto Kids

What it is: Crypto Kids is a website created by the National Security Agency all about creating and breaking codes.  This is a fantastic critical thinking website that also taps into math, linguistics, engineering, and analyzing skills.  I found Crypto Kids while I was hunting for an activity for students to learn more about codes as part of our Treasures reading series.  Crypto Kids turns out to be an excellent site for all elementary classrooms.  Students learn all about cryptology, the National Security Agency, and ciphers.  Students get the chance to meet the characters of Crypto Kids which include: Crypto Cat, Decipher Dog, Rosetta Stone, Slate, Joules, T. Top, and the leader CSS Sam.  Students can play logic games to test out their code breaking skills.  There are three levels of game play beginner, intermediate, and advanced.   As students play games, they will learn Morse Code, complete brainteasers that involve math and logic, create their own cipher machines, crack Yardleygrams and cryptograms, and learn some words in different languages.  Students can then learn more about careers that use cryptograms and code breaking at the National Security Agency. How to integrate Crypto Kids into the classroom: Crypto Kids is packed full of thinking and logic games and activities, many of which involve mathematical problem solving.  Crypto Kids games and activities are a great way to get your students thinking critically before math class.  Put one of the brain teasers up on the projector connected computer or interactive whiteboard for students to solve as a warm up activity.  Crypto Kids games are short enough that they could be used as a math center activity on classroom computers.  Students can visit the center in pairs or small groups and work on solving cryptograms together.  The Yardleygrams are stories that must be solved, these are fun to solve as a whole class. Since I was using this site to build background knowledge about codes with my students, we focused on what secret codes were, how they were used, and cracked some codes for practice.  As an extension activity, I had students read the descriptions of the characters on Crypto Kids and write a short story about the character.  These turned out great!  Students have to use the character qualities that are written and craft a story about the character, paying attention to how they think the character would act and what special skills they could use to solve a problem. Tips: Check out the Teacher/Parent section of the site for some additional resources. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Crypto Kids in your classroom.

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Dragon Box: a game for students to learn algebra…secretly

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Download, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Software | Posted on 22-04-2013

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      Dragon Box

 

What it is: Dragon Box has got to be the most brilliant game for teaching a new concept I have seen in a LONG time.  I am SO impressed with this app, I can’t say enough about it!  This is a math game that teaches algebra without you really realizing that it is a math game teaching you algebra.  It feels more like a logic card game than anything else.  There are 200 puzzles that secretly teach kids to solve equations.  They unlock each level by figuring out how to balance an equation (you have to isolate the dragon on one side of the board in order for him to emerge). After each level, he grows a little until he is full-grown.  Students learn concepts such as elimination, fractions and isolating variables throughout the game.  This is the best math app I’ve seen. It is NOT a drill/skill type app. It is actually teaching students to think like mathematicians instead of just asking them to solve a bunch of problems.

How to integrate Dragon Box+ into the classroom: I cannot say enough about this app.  The way that it gets kids thinking is completely fantastic.  Students learn algebra and how to think like mathematicians without even realizing it.  The game gives minimal direction, and invites students to explore and try new things to isolate the dragon.  The best way to use this app in this classroom: just let students start playing with it!  I love that this app could be played by students as young as six years old successfully, but also used by high school students where they would get those “aha” moments of understanding how algebra works that they may have missed along the way.

Put your students in teams, or let them explore Dragon Box independently.  Dragon Box allows for multiple logins, so you could even use it as a classroom center rotation.

Because you can download Dragon Box on multiple device types, you could even use this on a classroom computer connected to an interactive whiteboard or a projector and take turns playing as a class.  There are plenty of levels for every child to participate multiple times.

Price: $5.99

Devices: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (3rd-5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS4.0 or later

Tips:  Dragon Box is also available on the Mac App Store, Google Play, PC shop, Amazon Appstore for Android, and Windows Store.  Even if you don’t have iDevices, your students can play with Dragon Box!

I’ve been nominated for a Bammy Award for Educational Blogger.  I’d appreciate your vote to help spread the word about iLearn Technology.  Vote here.  Thank you for your continued support!!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Dragon Box in your classroom.

Comments (4)

[…] Dragon Box is an app recently blogged about by iLearn Technology. The video above explains the app. Essentially it is an app that teaches students algebra with them barely knowing it…that’s the best kind of learning, right? There are a variety of levels that build upon prior knowledge.  The concepts learned in this game are extremely valuable for students in their math knowledge development. […]

[…] Dragon box […]

thanks for nice post. If you are interested, dragon box 12+ out, with signs, parenthesis, factoring etc… in an unconventional but efficient way.

[…] Box is an app that I discovered through iLearn Technology. This app allows students to play a game that teaches them algebra…without them realize that […]

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