SCHOOLS INTEGRATED PROJECT 026  

The Role of ICT as a Support To Learning  

Background

SIP Groups

Childrens Work

Number Shark Evaluation

Having made myself familiar with the games contained in Number Shark, I found some of them to be of limited value, namely the Jump game and the Balance Rods game while others seemed to be quite useful.  The wide ranging levels of difficulty in the games was useful as some of the more able children could attempt the more challenging games while the others could practise on the more basic ones.  I felt this catered for the varying degrees of ability, even within a small group of four or five children in the learning support class.

The range of counting and sorting games were especially useful for practising and reinforcing the taught maths concept.  I felt that children should be fully au fait with the sequencing, ordering and group of numbers before they move on to the more difficult maths concepts, which is what this piece of software enables the children to do.  This was catered for with such games as the Jigsaw game, Catch the Ball and the Knock Down game.  The Number Line subtraction and addition game was valuable for allowing the children to become familiar with using the number line while the Rods game was a good challenging game which the children enjoyed, as was the Pattern game.  Most of the games require concentration and agility using the mouse, which children seem to enjoy, especially games such as Sharks and Pairs.

I tended to concentrate on the addition and subtraction games that would be beneficial to my 1st and 2nd class groups.  I found that being able to select games using both addition and subtraction was of great benefit when revising.  Number Shark allows the children to practise difficult maths concepts in a relaxed, (as they can work on their own and at their own pace) enjoyable (the “game” factor is always a way to reach children when all else fails) yet useful way.  Therefore I found Number Shark to be beneficial for both child and learning support teacher, even class teachers would find a use for this.

I see a use for Number Shark by the Learning Support teacher in that, concepts that have been covered in the Learning Support class can be reinforced back in the children’s whole class situation.   Work can be preset at the start of a week and left for the child to do during the course of the week.  As stated at the outset of this review I felt some of the games were of limited value, I also found some of the games quite difficult to understand.  These games, namely flowers and Coin Exchange took considerable time to understand and quite frankly, left me feeling frustrated.

While I mostly enjoyed using the Number Shark software I found, in comparison to Word Shark that I would derive far more use from this than the Number Shark.  In other words, if presented with money in the morning to buy a piece of software, I would buy another Word Shark rather than a Number Shark.

By 

Mary S. McGlinchey

Learning Support Teacher

Ballina N.S.