Bottom Line: A fabulous app for teaching about and exploring rotational and reflective symmetry, which are part of the Common Core State Standards. Easy to use, safe for kids, and fun even for parents. Recommended for kids ages 6+.
If you would like to download Symmetry School (iPad only, $2.99 regularly; on sale for 99 cents for a limited time), please support Smart Apps For Kids by using this link:
External links are in an information section that require a three-digit passcode.
I have established over my time at Smart Apps For Kids that I love math and math apps. I’m not a math whiz, though, and certain concepts have always been a little tricky for me, including symmetry. I know there are others who have difficulty with the same concepts, and that’s what makes Symmetry School: Learning Geometry by PixelSoup such a great app! It helps to visualize the concept of symmetry on a grid with colored shapes.
After choosing the type of symmetry (reflective or rotational), and the difficulty level (easy, medium or hard), the user’s goal is to make a symmetrical pattern along the lines of symmetry or tone hat rotates symmetrically around the center point. The pieces to be used are all in a box on the side of the puzzle. With intuitive game play (simply drag the pieces to the desired square), it is easy to learn how to play the game.
The app provides some feedback — it does not allow pieces to be placed in the wrong spot, for instance. There is also a prompt in the rotational symmetry games if a piece is in the right spot but with the wrong orientation. There are hints available, but these hints do not tell where to place a piece. Instead, they give broad hints like, “Try rotating all counters of one color at a time.”
There are some other great features in Symmetry School, aside from the numerous fun puzzles. The information section includes some great information, including print activities for teachers —worksheets for each level of the game, to allow for carryover practice. Teachers who have purchased the app also have access to a whiteboard version of Symmetry School. There is also a free play board, where students can experiment with symmetry.
The information section also includes external links and social media links, but access to it requires entering three digits. Though obviously still accessible to any student who can read the written number words, it helps prevent young users from inadvertently accessing external links.
This app really is a fantastic teaching tool and puzzle game for all ages. I did wish that when the user attempted to put a piece in the wrong spot, the app could somehow teach why that spot was wrong. If I place that yellow circle in that square, why doesn’t it make a symmetrical pattern? Apps that teach in this way help make sure a concept is clearly understood.
The hard levels, especially the Rotational Symmetry ones, were quite difficult, and took me some time to complete. This app is, then, a true bargain at its regular price of $2.99, and a steal at the sale price of 99 cents, since it really can be used for many ages. The concept of symmetry is specifically addressed in the Common Core State Standards in most grade levels from K-12.
This app is a must-have or parents and teachers looking to improve students' (and teachers'!) understanding of the geometry concept of symmetry.
Heather H. hopes that completing multiple puzzles on Symmetry School will improve her overall understanding of symmetry. If only that would help her with organization . . .