The programs are designed to offer flexibility for a teacher…
… with regard to the way they are used:
- they can be used with a whole class focus with just one computer/interactive whiteboard in the classroom;
- they can be used with students working individually or in small groups at a computer.
… with regard to the level of challenge:
- learning the names for the numbers from 1-9, or finding the complement to 10 of a number, or learning how to multiply numbers by 10, or practising the two times table;
- learning the place value of any digit within the number 1518.792, or finding the complement to 0.8 of 0.47, or finding 34.7¸10-3, or using a mental strategy to calculate 6x78.
… with regard to the involvement of a teacher:
- particular tasks or levels of challenge can be created and controlled by a teacher;
- students can work independently on computer-generated tasks suited to their individual challenge level and which offer structured progression to increasingly demanding challenges.
These computer programs are designed to help raise standards in mental arithmetic. They aim to:
- Promote understanding of the number system and develop mental calculating strategies by offering images, particularly tabular arrays, to work with moving and spoken numbers;
- Improve fluency and knowledge of number facts by, for example, including timed exercises or withdrawing some of the support structure.
An overview of the programs
Complements helps students develop the ability to find complements to 10, 20, … 100 (and indeed the decimal equivalents - e.g. complements to 0.1, 0.2, … 1.0). This skill forms the basis of many aspects of number work. The program uses the image of a 100 square to help students develop flexible mental arithmetic strategies, for example, becoming aware that if they can do 10-4 they can also do 30-24, 70-64, etc.
Numbers helps students learn to read, write and say numbers in English or Welsh (decided by running the Locator program), and recognise the place value of individual digits. The teacher, or indeed students themselves, can choose the range of numbers worked on, for example, from 1-99; 1-9,999,999; 0.001-999; etc.
Powers of 10 helps students to multiply and divide numbers by powers of ten. This is approached through the image of numbers moving up and down the ‘tens chart’. This movement is linked to the movement of digits to the left and right within the place value system.
Tables helps students develop the mental ability to work out their multiplication tables by using only the following abilities: double, halve, multiply by 10, add or take one number (except for 7x7=49!). Students are challenged to improve their fluency through timed tasks, and are also challenged to multiply bigger numbers by their 2 to 10 times tables.
The programs are suitable for pupils of all ages and levels of attainment and can be used to support both whole class teaching and individual work:
1. Whole class teaching
One way of working is for the teacher to control the computer and pose questions, which the class work on together. For example, the program Numbers is particularly suited to this mode of working as it offers dynamic features of moving numbers, not easily achieved in any other way. One way of working is for the teacher to control the computer and pose questions, which the class work on together. For whole class focus for Numbers and Powers of 10 it is best to use ‘Browse’ or ‘Browse tasks’ modes. Similarly, for Complements it is best to use ‘Basic Browse’, and for Tables it is best to use ‘Browse’ or ‘Basic Browse’ modes .
Another way of working with the whole class is to use the images contained in the software, but in a different medium, for example, a wall chart, the board or an overhead projector. Wall charts relating to these programs can be obtained from Educational Initiatives, Cardew Farm, Dalston, Carlisle, CA5 7JQ.
2. Individual work
A key feature is the provision of 'electronic exercises’ for pupils to do individually on a computer. These exercises are structured in such a way as to provide either progressively more demanding tasks or to develop a particular approach to the building up of skills. The objective should be to achieve a high degree of proficiency at a given stage, before proceeding to the next stage. Timed exercises can help pupils to compete against themselves to improve their fluency. By entering any of the programs through the Progression mode, the computer will take the individual pupil through a series of tasks which will build in their difficulty and/or take the pupil through a particular teaching approach.
Pupils can work over a period of many lessons through their progression since the computer will store their individual progress, so that a new session can start with a pupil carrying on from where they left off.
The computer can also be a stimulus to individual work away from the machine. For example, the teacher might use the computer to pose a problem, returning to the machine later in the lesson to check out pupil’s ideas and solutions.
As general advice, the software will work best if the teacher first introduces the class to the images (charts) and activities (work with the charts) which the programs use. Consideration will need to be given whether you wish to work with the program by setting tasks yourself (with the pupils working on ‘browse’ or ‘basic browse’ mode), or whether you wish pupils to work through computer-generated progression of tasks in Progression mode.
Installing and getting started
The programs run on an IBM compatible PC running Windows 95 or later. Following installation you will be able to configure the settings to suit one of the following:
1. Stand alone PC
2. Peer-to-peer Network. In this type of network each workstation has an identifying name and access to other workstations on the network subject to the file sharing rules imposed by the network administrator.
3. Client-Server network. In this type of network each user logs on with a unique password which identifies them to the network and gives access rights to parts of the network subject to the file sharing rules imposed by the network administrator. Crucially for the Developing Number software, each logged-on user has a private work area usually identified by a virtual drive letter or folder name. For example n:\myworkRemember that to use the software on more than one computer your school or Local Authority should be in possession of an Institution Site Licence. If you have a single user licence you can upgrade it by contacting Chartwell-Yorke.
Single User £70 + vat, Site Licence £195 + vat.
Free UK delivery from Chartwell-Yorke Ltd., 114 High Street, Belmont Village, Bolton, Lancashire, BL7 8AL, tel 01204 811001, fax 01204 811008, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.chartwellyorke.com