10-MINUTE FRACTION TASKS. CD-Rom. Granada Learning pound;49Tel: 0161 827 2966
This is the first in a set of 10-minute maths task CD-Roms. Easy to install and set in the interesting context of Ancient Greece, the program has six activities for fractions and decimals, each at three levels. It claims to be suitable for Years 5 and 6, but it could be used successfully with children as young as Year 3. The CD-Rom is suitable for whole-class use on a large screen or interactive whiteboard, as all the actions can be controlled with a mouse or pen. Pairs of children working together on a network or on single machines could also use the program. As each activity is 10 minutes long it would be suitable for use in the oralmental starter of a daily maths lesson.
The number lines are particularly useful i the Mixed Number activity. The explanation with the Improper Fractions activity of stringing beads is helpful. The Decimals to 3 Places illustrates clearly the effect of multiplying or dividing numbers by powers of 10.
However, there is a problem with the digits rolling over (when adding 0.1 to 2.9 the digits do not roll over - the machine shows 2.0). There is also a problem in the Decimals to 2 Places activity: mistakes made in the colouring-in task cannot be erased. And the explanation for the Proper Fraction activity illustrated with shields is confusing - it is far easier just to look at the shields and judge by eye which of them are more or less than 12. Overall, the CD-Rom offers some interesting contexts and images.
Rosemary Hafeez is a mathematics adviser for Croydon