Improving our Mental Maths at St Bernadette’s Primary

As a staff, we felt it would be beneficial to widen the learning experiences offered to our children through the use of ICT, particularly in the area of maths.  As a result, we decided to ‘trial’ the use of DS consoles, during mental maths time, with some of our P4-7s.

All children responded very positively to the use of these in class. The children were very excited at the prospect of using the DSis. Since only a few children in each class had never used a DSi, initial instruction in their use was straightforward and the more experienced users were able to support the others.

The equipment was used to motivate learners and to develop skills in maths through the Brain Training activities. The main purpose of using the DSis with our children was to support them in developing mental agility in order to assist and improve their work in numeracy. The nature of the games in the Brain Training programme helped the children to do this. This was particularly evident during quick fire multiplication, addition and subtraction games used in whole class or group situations.  In some classes, the children recorded their scores and set themselves personal targets to meet. They were also used at other times of the school day/week and had a positive impact on behaviour for many children.

I would recommend the use of DSis in order to support and develop mental agility. The children enjoyed trying to improve their brain ages and responded positively to the challenge that the game presented.

Overall, the DSis were a powerful motivational tool for nearly all children and a positive experience for all staff who used them.

Mrs McLaughlin