Posted by Peter on 23rd September 2007

Number Gym: software review

Number Gym graphic19/30 Number Gym

Number Gym aims to improve children’s mental skills and understanding and has some unique features. There are two CDs evaluated here:
1.Bond Builder and Table Trainer
numbergym2graphicBond Builder starts with sets of coloured dot patterns which can be counted or added. There is a circle of numbers around the outside, in the middle the set of dots. Drag the sum onto the correct answer on the outside circle of numbers. Timed with a best score facility.
Table Trainer is similar. Activities get harder as the tables get harder – eg on early games the set of numbers remain the same. On later games the values in the circles change. Also extension eg from knowing 7 x 6 = 42 to knowing 0.7 x 600.

There are one minute challenges for when children are really ready and know number bonds or tables.

The activities are classified as ‘age neutral’so older children with learning difficulties could tackle these quite happily. Once played a couple of times it is easy to use. There is a more extensive KS3 and KS4 set of software.

2. Number Gym
Perhaps more interesting are the Number Gym activities. Route Pathways is good: routes where paths can be created and a turtle guided through the path. This is excellent for children to use directional language and problem solving and is probably as good as anything on the market.
The site has an excellent tool for mental methods of subtraction called “Same difference” well worth looking at.
Other activities include probability, angle, shape and estimation.
The Bond Builder and Table Trainer is available at £14.99 for families and a single PC licence for Number Gym is £45. These activities are very popular in schools, especially with older Special needs Departments. Grouping the two CDs together:

6 out of 10Interest

7 out of 10Maths content

6 out of 10Value for money

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