Millies Maths House

 

Subject

Maths

Title

Millies Maths House

Publisher

Iona Software

Curriculum Areas

Early Mathematical Concepts

Special Needs Category

Learning Disability
Aspergers Syndrome

Age of Pupil

Ages 4 - 7

Duration of Lesson

1 hr. Lesson per week
2 Lessons per month

Dates of Use

September 1999 - June 2000
and ongoing

Intended User

Junior Infants
Senior Infants
Special Needs

Support Materials

Teacher Resource Kit

Machine Used
Minimum Specifications
PC Windows '98
Windows 3.1
Windows '95 or higher, 4MB required
Mac color 356 required
System 7.0.1 or higher, 4MB

 

Summary of Millies Maths

Millie's Maths is a very attractive mathematical game/fun program for children aged 4-7 years. It is an easy way for children to learn essential early mathematical skills. It is designed around six rooms in a house. To enter an activity you click on a room. In the "LITTLE, MIDDLE & BIG" room children select different pairs of shoes. The concept of size becomes important as children make sense of "big", "little" and "medium". This presents an opportunity of learning in a way which children could not experience by any other means. In "MOUSE HOUSE" children learn trial and error skills At first they learn to identify and match shapes. Later, they learn to discriminate between identical shapes of different sizes. As children become aware of how things are supposed to look, they place greater value on realism. Real life situations and imagination is encouraged. In "BING BONG" the children are made aware of patterns all around them (examples enclosed). Patterns help them to make sense of what they see and hear. They are helped to predict what is to come next. They see things as part of a whole and understand the relationship between parts. This encourages them to notice, experiment and play with patterns, which in turn, helps to build a foundation for logical thinking. "BUILD A BUG" helps children to use the computer as a tool. Creativity is fostered when they are in control of deciding the number of spots. "NUMBER MACHINE" holds great appeal for many young children in learning to count. "COOKIE FACTORY" also helps in learning to count but helps to develop strategies and attitudes that will develop problem solving (See enclosed examples). Children enjoy the challenge of being given clues to solve a problem as happens in "WHAT'S MY NUMBER?". Overall, we find this software very satisfactory. It is very much in line with the revised curriculum as it helps to develop early mathematical skills through exploration, discovery and experimentation.

Overview of Teaching with Millies Maths

The exercises are colourful and appealing. The "fun" element is most appealing to all as "Millie" refuses to try on shoes, which are too big or too small or a hat, which will not fit (if the user chooses the incorrect size). There is plenty encouragement and praise, Millie responds with a "WELL DONE" after each section has been correctly completed. The program is fun and easy to navigate. The response from the Millie is quick. The minimum of intervention by an adult is required, as children learn very quickly how to find their way around Millie's house. The characters are very child-friendly. Millie's Math House is a really nice inviting place. We have used the software, individually, with Special Needs children and we have found it to be very effective in developing visual skills and memory skills as well as early number skills. We used it with mainstream children in whole class groups -Junior Infants and Senior Infants-in a computer room, where each child had her own PC. The results were very satisfactory. Mathematical, the children got an excellent understanding of pre-number skills and counting. The click and drag facility enabled children to perform operations on screen, which they could not yet perform with pencils or crayons. The fact that they were able to print out their work which gave a wonderful sense of achievement and success and was most rewarding. We hope to continue to use "Millies Maths House " with our junior classes in the coming years.

Content of Millies Maths

Millies Maths is designed especially for young children or other children who have difficulty in grasping early mathematical skills or indeed any child who has a learning disability. The scene is set in Millies house where the child has to click on the "BIG" "LITTLE" or "MEDIUM" hat, shoes etc. There is a gradual progression to other mathematical skill i.e. color, size, number, shape etc. all in a "game" mode where the child is led through learning in an easy yet very effective way.

Design and Navigation of Millies Maths

The instructions, which are supplied with the software in the form of a user's manual, are clear and easy to follow. The pupil can go back to the main menu by clicking on the icon "MILLIE" which is available on the screen all the time. Each room has an "EXPLORE AND DISCOVER MODE" which allows the pupil to have fun experimenting. There are no right or wrong answers. This, we found, is a very important factor in a mathematics program, Especially for the less confident pupil. When the "QUESTION AND ANSWER MODE" is required a click of the framed picture will bring the pupil to the correct frame (each room has a different picture). The characters of the question and answer mode will ask questions or make requests. The pupil can play as long as he/she likes. The PRINT icon will print out for "MOUSE HOUSE" and "BUILD A BUG" In "BUILD A BUG" and "BING &BONG" the pupil can record her own sound (If the computer has a microphone). Our pupils got a tremendous thrill from this exercise and repeated it many times. The bug giggles but the pupil can record his/her own statement by clicking on the microphone. To enter the adult section simply hold down the "OPTION AND COMMAND" keys and press A. This section contains:
An information Notebook
A Records Folder
A Preference Folder (for customising the program)
To exit the program click the STOP sign.

Installation and Use of Millies Maths

The program comes in two floppy disks, which can be loaded on to the hard drive of a PC. A shortcut may be created which gives access from the desktop. Otherwise, it can be accessed through the Programs Menu under the title 4Mation. The program responds very quickly to the input of the child. It works well in a network system. It runs across a network system with minimal technical knowledge. Supporting Materials for Millies Maths A teacher's Guide comes with the software program, which gives instructions as to the installation and use of the software. Additional tips are available for navigation through the program.

 

image of house for link to index

Home