With three levels of difficulty and an option to reduce or increase levels of play in games, this CD is capable of sustaining a pupil’s progress in maths for a year. The only drawback is its lack of an option for teachers to save and then monitor individual pupil’s lessons.
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Number Plane is a teaching aid for six and seven year-olds. It offers 21 practical and oral activities that have been designed with the aid of the National Numeracy Association – which helped to formulate the national numeracy strategy for schools. Learning takes place in a fantasy airport, the departure lounge of which is like something from Men in Black – peopled by doughnut dragons, sick hedgehogs, strange aliens and a pop singer called Debbie Diamond. Each set of characters represents a discipline. These include multiplication, division and fractions. The airport theme is tenuous, with most of what follows being unrelated. It’s colourful, though, and the lessons are absorbing, as well as instructive. The CD is narrated by Murphy Mouse, who invites the pupil to board the ChedAir flight with his or her character of choice. The ensuing lesson is then narrated by Murphy, who prods a kid in the right direction after a wrong answer. For teachers, there’s also a large collection of resource sheets for multi-pupil non-computer classwork.