Whilst you can find packages that might look a little more cutting edge, the pedagogy Bond Builder and Table Trainer are built on is sound. With the questions (or cards) being dragged to their answer and if not correct, left 'in the pile' for the child to try again, plus the wheel, plus inverse operations, key for developing conceptual fluency of both number facts and tables, Bond Builder and Table Trainer give more 'on screen' support than anything else I have found for learning these key areas. And I've tried a lot! I've only touched on the features here, there are lots more, including stats for users and off line stuff as well.
The admin area is extremely simple to set up and children only need to remember their username (which can be set by the teacher) after initial login. You can access via computer or purchase one of the specific iPad/Android apps and hook it up to your school account. So it's flexible in getting maximum use from whatever home tech there is for your children. It's definitely worth investigating and it's become a crucial tool for us in developing number facts and times tables.
Peter Richardson (@primarypete_) UK Primary School Assistant Head Teacher interested in innovation, creativity and collaboration.
It is a fantastic resource. We will be continuing to subscribe again. I'll drop by and see you at the SLF this year to say hello and if you require any testimonials I am happy to oblige.
David McLaughlin - head teacher, Harbour Point School, Musselburgh
After a successful trial in Year 6 to boost mental skills we're currently implementing a tracking system using BondBuilder and TableTrainer in the rest of the school. We're hoping to have a whole school drive to embed mental skills at an earlier age. During the Year 6 trial I had several parents who expressed an interest in the software. I personally know how effective it has been with our Year 6 at creating a 'want' to get better - to improve their times. We even get Y6 going in the ITroom at playtimes to work in it. Thanks again for a great product.
[some weeks later]
I still don't think you've realised that BB and TT[BondBuilder & TableTrainer] and MMC[Mental Maths Challenge] are your strongest products used in the proper way - with home access. I believe they can make a massive difference to maths teaching - if its done properly and coordinated as a whole school with parental involvement.
Clint Lees, Robert Wilkinson Primary School, York
I work with learners ranging from age 11 to adult and NumberGym seems to be one of the best, and widely age appropriate tools out there.
Pete Jarrett, Tutorum Learning & Assessment, Member of the British Dyslexia Association, Dyscalculia and Maths Learning Difficulties Committee
I have already missed it several times, yesterday and today!! I will definitely buy the run-from-disk CD, there was so much useful material. I should also mention that I am notoriously difficult to please. I teach a good number of pupils who seriously struggle with maths. I use Number Shark, and find that most other ‘games’ come nowhere near it in efficiency and ease of use. The Number Gym, however, is completely different and I was aware while using it with my pupils that not only did it make them think about the concepts they were working on, but it also enhanced their understanding. I loved, for example, the Gattegno place value activities. In fact, one child, as I was showing how it worked, took the mouse from me and said 'let me just see that a minute.' She proceeded to play with it for several minutes and then said 'I've got it now.' I can't ask for any more. I honestly felt that this programme has been developed by people who actually understand how children learn maths and the difficulties they encounter.
I also hope to convince the school to go for a site licence. Many thanks for the trial.
Nicole Cooper, M.A M.Ed. Head of Learning Support, The Richard Pate School, Cheltenham
Now and again I stumble upon an ICT resource that really gets me buzzing. Like The Number Gym Suite when I first saw the software on NumberGym's stand at this autumn's TES Education Show.
After 15 minutes I knew that The NumberGym Suite was on a par with any of the best mathematics software I have seen over the past decade.
The key question I always apply to software is "Why use a computer to teach this? Are there not other, more effective means of engaging learners?" In the case of The NumberGym Suite the answer is clearly "No". Employing interactivity to the full, and presenting the pupil with clear animations and graphics to demonstrate each mathematical topic, is almost certain to motivate and encourage even reluctant learners. To cap it all there's a progressive set of achievable targets for each challenge offered.
With The NumberGym Suite referencing the National Curriculum generally and the Primary Numeracy Strategy specifically and its total compatibility with just about everything, it is difficult to pick holes in this well-designed and fully accessibly software. In the hands of a good teacher it will help inspire and motivate children in mathematics. I know for one thing, I wish I'd had access to it myself when I was a primary teacher. Thoroughly recommended!
Ratings (out of 5)
Fitness for purpose: 5
Ease of use: 5
Value for money: 5
I introduced Tables Trainer to our staff in the first training day of the year- Maths!
They were very enthusiastic and many are already using it each day. The children in year 6 love exercises and it was hard work to stop them practising tables this morning. Thanks! A brilliant resource.
Shirley Davids, Haworth Primary School, West Yorks
As an Educational therapist in private practice I work with elementary-aged students (ages 5 - 12) who are struggling with math. I have 15 students of varying ages with varying needs all around the area of math - when exploring your programs I found something(s) for everyone! The kids loved it and so did I. So often my students need intensive instruction, one-to-one and then lots and lots of practice. Your programs gave my students the opportunity to practice in a novel way.
Alison Wilks, Educational Therapist, California
The best maths software... is capable of overturning all the old "I hate maths" prejudices. It does this not just with attractive, animated presentation, but by showing some killer features. It will show movement - so an angle, for example, is revealed as a measure of rotation. It will help personalisation by being tailored to individual needs and abilities. And perhaps most importantly, it'll be responsive to creative thinking: a child can change a number, or move a line, to see what the effect is on everything else. One product that looks as if it ticks these boxes is The Number Gym.
Gerald Haigh, Education Guardian
I used the NumberGym Plus [now rebranded NumberGym Geometry] Enlargement today with my Year 9 revision - a few lightbulb moments !!! The improvements with the ability to switch the guide lines on and off - and the ability to change the centre of enlargement and show how the shape changes position but not size - were really good. The boys liked the clear layout too. Good feedback when I used the software to demonstrate a reflection to a weak Yr 7 class - the fact that the image could be seen flipping across the mirror line was ace - lots of lightbulb moments after they'd struggled with the concept of counting - image and object distance to and from the mirror. So - thanks for that !!
Helen Hitchcock, Thorpe House School, Bucks
I bought your Number Gym CD about three years ago and, having trialled the new software, was very impressed with the new additions. I have nothing but the highest praise for it as a resource. It's great and I do regularly recommend it to colleagues!! I would now very much like to purchase all four products...
Alison Palmer, Head of Maths, The Sycamore Centre, Epsom, Surrey
Thanks so much, I really appreciate the limited language on the site. Great for SEN.
Nina Ford, Inclusion Manager, Greenleaf Primary School, London