SCHOOLS INTEGRATED PROJECT 026  

The Role of ICT as a Support To Learning  

Background

SIP Groups

Childrens Work

Review of Numbershark.

Following the Numbershark course, I was extremely keen to start using it, as I could see that this maths program would be extremely beneficial to my resourse teaching.

Numbershark has a wide and varied selection of games, which are very attractive to kids, incorporating all learning stages from infants to senior classes.

It is a well-structured program, having the +, -, *, -:-  topics in separate categories in the main menu.  This allows the teacher to start at the basics and progress as the student does or to pick and choose as different situations arise.  Being able to set up different work for each student is a great advantage, however when I went to do this myself I found it was not as easy as it seemed when Brian demonstrated.  It was only when I got a computer at home and was able to bring the CD home that I managed to set up the student controlled sessions properly. 

At this stage I have only got to dealing with the addition and subtraction to 20. Fit in, Sorting, Counting Catchballs and Knockdown are excellent for practicing number ordering and counting, as is the Match game. 

Other games I have found beneficial are Rods-, which is exceptionally good for basic number bonds.  Other favourites of my pupils are the Pairs and Pick – the latter having a bonus game of finding one or two similar creatures, aids development of the pupil’s visual perception. Sum Demo is also an attractive game as if the child has difficulty; the computer will act out the sum in blocks.  The Shark game provides outstanding proof that each concept and skill is known and understood. The Surround game gives the pupil great practice at selecting specific groups.  Mouse control is very important here!

There are also “options in games” which cannot be preset by the teacher this is normally a bonus as the child can progress to harder levels at his/her own pace, however for younger classes it would be an advantage to be able to preset these, as they are not able to read words etc.  If a child selects a game level, which is too hard, then the games and learning will not be enjoyable.  eg in the Match game, the matching of pictorial shapes with written words may not be an option for them or, in the Sum Demo game, the child could select the “harder” option when he/she may be only be at the “simple” level (to mention just two!)

In summary, I found Numbershark to be a very impressive CD.  Starting at the basic counting/sorting games it steadily progresses through to learning and practicising process.

However, personally speaking, I would need to have my own copy of the CD for home use to enable me to preset work for each pupil and to perhaps print off relevant sums for use in conjunction with my textbook teaching.   

Breda Nolan

Resource