Today I put together a brief demo of SolveMe Mobiles, a math app that teaches kids the basics of balancing formulae through what appears to be a mobile (not the cell phone kind, the type that twirls above a crib). You know I’m always a big fan of sites that are so simple you don’t need training to get rolling. Well, this definitely falls into this category.
Essentially it’s just a series of puzzles that get increasingly more complex as you go along. A basic puzzle shows a shape that represents a variable. So instead of X and Y, you have hearts and diamonds. One the one side you have two hearts, on the other one diamond, and you have the number 8 up above. So if the heart = 2, then you know that the diamond has to equal 4. Put that in, the mobile balances and you can move on!
Honestly, that’s about it. Yes, the mobiles keep getting more complex, but the idea is that you need to figure out what numbers the variables will equal in order to balance it out. It’s a great way to introduce pre-algebraic concepts to students, without it feeling like ‘work’. It very much has a game-like flavor. I do like that it provides a pen so students can take some notes as they go along to help them figure things out. It can be very helpful, like filling in potential answers while doing a sudoku puzzle.
There’s really only one other feature and that’s the build function. Students can create their own puzzles and enter them into the community gallery, or share them with friends. It’s a natural extension for kids who have grasped the concepts and can be a lot of fun!
The video review of SolveMe Mobiles is below. If you want to watch one of these live, don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, uStream, YouTube or Periscope. When I’m live, I’m broadcasting to all of those platforms! If you have any requests for future reviews, leave me a comment and I’ll put it into the queue.