Ignore the shapes on the background which I mistakenly added – this Addition Application activity is about answering the addition and subtraction sums appearing in the centre. Children need to add the correct number of fingers onto the table to answer the question.
Watching my Year 5s using it I was surprised at how engaged they were, it is after all simple addition or subtraction. The unique nature of the “finger count” setting is it causes the children to rely on their peers to help them answer the question. If we don’t work together we don’t progress. The collaboration from even just 2 or 3 kids was great to watch.
This application is not new, I have seen and used it before on the Philips Entertaible. Which allowed any object placed on the surface to count as “1”. This was a good feature of that device as it allowed more flexibility to support early counting strategies etc. Not so with the SMART Table which needs a firm finger press.
The size of integers and answers increase as the number of learners set to use it does. (this is done in the admin screen) More finger presses are needed and higher numbers correspondng to the maximum of that group.
Another setting for the Addition application is to show answers using currency – which for British currency is frankly woeful, no colour, incorrect sizes of coins. Canadian and US seems to be in colour not surprising really. Counters or counting blocks can also be used and I will look into this next week.
I was most pleased with the level of engagement from the children and although on the surface this seems to be a simple application, it definitely requires a level of teamwork that you often do not get.
It is intriguing watching the children’s first attempts and how they realise they need to work together. As the challenge is small scale, once they have been successful they begin to refine their approach, communicate better and so get to later answers quicker.