Numbershark 5: Ideas to get you started
Edition dated 6/3/2019
- Sign on as Administrator, go to the “Help” menu, and ensure you have watched all of the video tutorials
- Also within the “Help” menu, look at the .PDF manual and the associated “Printed materials” – including certificates
- Read the article “Numbershark 5: Tummys, Tripods and Tricks to support Progress”
- Read the article “Automatic Progression”
- Have a “play”: Try some of the games, perhaps starting with some numeracy topics that you feel confident about, then some that you are not quite so confident about! Go to Actions / View own records to see how you get on.
- Look at the “Options” menu and the “speed slider”, present in many games, which can make a game easier or more challenging – and which can be ratcheted up by the learner as their confidence for a given list increases. Make a mental note to ensure your learner knows how to change the speed slider and options.
- Consider the points below when thinking about where to start your “learners”.
We are quite often contacted by Numbershark 5 users or prospective users, asking for guidance about “good placement tests” for Number work. There are almost as many ideas of “what is a good placement test” as there are people willing to teach Maths and numberwork! These general remarks for teachers, tutors and home educator parents/carers:
- Careful listening and observation are critical – both to the learner and to the parents & previous teachers. Find out early on whether subutising is a problem – i.e. whether dyscalculia is likely (e.g. Numbershark game “Conserve”). For a child over approx. age 6, at what point did problems start to be apparent? I’ve sometimes found children appeared to be fine with numeracy until they encountered one specific teacher, or was getting on great at one school, but a move to another school led to a mathematical melt-down.
- Note that “numeracy” (which is what Numbershark aims to support) is a critical foundation component of “mathematics”. I’ve come across many who struggle with “mathematics” because their numeracy foundations are weak. Numbershark does not aim to work on “mathematics”, but helps learners to acquire the important foundation skills. Once these are acquired, “mathematics” progress can be much accelerated.
- The “Tummy Test” article mentioned above can give you a useful and quick way in to finding an appropriate starting point for a learner.
- The (UK) National Curriculum 2014 England course may be a useful structure to use as a starting point and follow if you know the age of the learner and whether they are working, learning and developing below, at, or above “average” compared with the general population:
- Set 1 = Year 1 (age 5-6)
- Set 2 = Year 2 (age 6-7)
- Set 3 = Year 3 (age 7-8)
- Set 4 = Year 4 (age 8-9)
- Set 5 = Year 5 (age 9-10)
- Set 6 = Year 6 (age 10-11