Slice It!

Slice It! Math App Review - Archived

Slice It! is a sneakily simple and completely engaging way of teaching users of all ages to visualize geometric figures. The goal of Slice It! is really quite simple: cut the provided shape into whatever number of pieces the level asks for, with just the number of lines the level offers you. Oh, and just to keep it interesting: make all of the pieces EQUAL.

Visual learners will love this game. Spatial thinkers will fly through this challenge. But the learners who are more auditory, who learn by reading and can’t picture things as well in their minds, will struggle a bit. The game allows this type of struggle in several ways—your pieces don’t have to be absolutely perfectly equal, but they have to be close; if you fail a level, you can choose to skip it or choose to try again, which may alleviate frustration; and while the levels get progressively harder they often use the same sort of shapes, allowing users to practice their skills without getting entirely flustered.

The game itself is simple yet beautiful to look at. The background looks like a piece of notebook paper and the graphics, lines, and numbers all have a typeface that appears to be pencil or crayon. The appearance has a deceptively “primary school” look, but the challenge could be more than adults with a solid geometry background can handle.

That’s what makes this app work so well—it’s a game, where you compete against yourself to pass the 200+ stages of game play, but it’s also a geometric and spatial challenge. Users can play stages again, to try to rank higher on the five-star scale of assessment, or can choose to participate in speed rounds to see how many stages they can pass in 60 seconds. It’s the quintessential example of competing against yourself, but not knowing it, just to get better at the skill.

In the classroom, an app like this has limitless possibilities. In the midst of a lesson about geometry, teachers could use Slice It! as an example in whole class instruction, or could have students use the app as a challenge after completing their work. The app could make a fine contribution to free time resources for students, who will likely think that they are simply playing a game. But, best of all, this app could work as a remediation activity for students who need extra practice without making it seem like the extra practice is a punishment.

Students who are having trouble with geometry but find their way to success with Slice It! may find themselves more confident and positive not only about their mathematical skills but about their classroom performance in general.

All of these benefits from one app makes Slice It! well worth the small investment.