SOFTWARE EVALUATION

Title: Mighty Maths Carnival Countdown

Publisher: Iona Software

Age range: 5 - 9 years (Senior Infants - Fourth Class)

Subject Area: Mathematics

System Required: Windows 3.1, Windows '95 or later. Mac System 7.0.1 or higher

Price:£19.99 Ir.

Networkable: No

Prerequisite Skills: Ability to click and drag on a mouse. Ability to recognise numbers 1 - 10. Understanding of the value 1 - 10. Experience of jigsaw making to allow for matching shapes. Familiarity with the names of basic shapes, knowledge of colour and experience in grouping objects is required.

Manual / Instructions: The manual accompanying this package is clearly written. The teacher notes give the maths levels and topics for each of the five areas covered. Integration ideas are very useful and maths goals are clearly outlined.

Other materials provided: Classroom activities are suggested as well as reproducible worksheets and cartoon characters suitable for notice boards. There are also excellent ideas for integrating topics covered on he computer with classroom-based maths and other curricular areas.

Design and Navigation: The software is child friendly - very easy to use.

Overview of teaching with this title: Carnival Countdown is a maths software package based on a Carnival theme. There are five activities. As a child succeeds at a level he automatically moves on to the next level. The activities consist of:

  • An explore mode which encourages creativity and investigation
  • A question mode, which allows directed learning.
  1. The maths topics covered include Sets, ranging from sorting and classifying by one attribute to intersection and subsets.
  2. The next areas covered are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. At the simplest level there is counting 1 - 10 while the most advanced consists of division of 24 or less into 2 - 8 groups.
  3. Another area covered is geometry. This begins with matching and manipulating shapes to fractions, symmetry, area and design.
  4. The concept of >, < and = is explored. The concept of place value is used to compare numbers.

    Mighty maths Carnival countdown was rated as a highly effective teaching- tool for Junior, Senior and First Class. Transference of information is very positive. It is also suitable for recording pupil progress. Follow up activities in the manual provides effective reinforcement for the programme. The pupil receives positive responses from the programme and hints are given when the student has difficulty. Once the adult has enabled the option the child will return to the programme where he / she has last exited. However, there is no record of how effectively the student has completed an activity. The exploration mode needed close supervision by the teacher to avoid the students paying aimlessly with the tools and characters.

    This title was evaluated with a group of Firs Class pupils and there were at least four levels that were compatible with the Irish Curriculum for First Class. The teacher found the package useful to reinforce work carried out in class.
    This title integrated well with a cross section of subjects. Carnival cars which deals with sets can be followed up in Art class with colouring integrated sets. In Geography sets of countries (maritime / coastal etc) can be explored. In English the introduction of the particular maths language can be given while in singing the Sesame Street Song "One of These Things" etc can be taught. Classroom work is essential prior to the introduction of this software for effective learning to occur. Pre- work should be similar to that experienced on the computer.

Ennis Information Age Town
SIP 058

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