Today in Numeracy, Year 5 used the app ‘Marble Maths,’ to help improve their mental maths skills. The app provides questions of varying difficulty on many different aspects of maths, perfect for mental maths practice and for the children choosing between a mental maths test and using this fun and interactive app, there wasn’t much competition. A recent update also included a British currency which was the only glitch when I first downloaded the app.
The creators of Marble Maths describe the way the app works as:
‘The object of the game is to solve a variety of math problems by collecting numbers and bonuses as you navigate a series of mazes with your marble. But watch out math whizzes! You’ll need to be focused and nimble to avoid the obstacles in your path.’
In my experience the biggest obstacle with children and Numeracy especially more reluctant and less confident children is engagement. The have to want to learn and be eager to achieve and there is no better way than providing a game based approach. Marble Maths is a super way to engage all the children, it made them think carefully, weigh up all the options, be aware of different combinations and solutions and it also encourage positive and focused talk between partners. The varying levels means that all abilities are catered for and the children loved checking with friends their score.
As a teacher it made me aware of any teaching points that needed re-enforcing, in fact, during the lesson I had to stop the children to go over finding fractions that equal one. Seeing that some of the children were struggling with these questions meant that I could stop the children and just go over that teaching point to make sure they have a solid understanding.
In the future there is a lot of potential with this app. Although we used the app as a mixed mental maths activity. Within the settings you can change the settings to purely focus on one objective. So if you wanted to purely focus on fractions that add to one, you can have numerous questions on just that one objective.
I asked the children for their opinion of the app at the end of the lesson and the majority loved the app. They enjoyed the game aspect and felt they were playing rather than learning.