Q&A #1586

Mathematics computer programs

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 28, 1999 at 18:07:32
Subject: Re: Mathematics computer programs

My favorite math program is called the The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis,
by Broderbund. Here is the review I found on the web.

"Logical Journey of the Zoombinis is a captivating educational program
designed around an escape story. The Zoombinis were a happy group of
creatures (somewhat similar in appearance to the old Mr. Potato Head), whose
island is taken over by the Bloats. The user's job is to help them in their

"Each Zoombini is characterized by four features: hair, eyes, nose and feet.
Each of these features exists in five variations. The user begins by creating
an escape party of 16 different looking Zoombini. Once the team is assembled
they set out on a path that would make Indiana Jones proud. Just like the
problems encountered by the archeology professor of cinema fame, the
Zoombini's confront a dozen obstacles which must be overcome using deductive
logic and creative reasoning. For example, the first obstacle in their path
is a pair of rope bridges. These bridges are highly unusual, in that they are
each allergic to different Zoombini features. One might be allergic to red
noses and glasses, the other to blue noses and curly hair. Through trial and
error, then logic, the user must help the Zoombini across the bridges."

"One of the more impressive features about this program, is the potential it
has for repeated use, across a broad range of ages. In fact, all of our adult
reviewers felt challenged by the problems! The program can be set at 4 levels
of difficulty. Equally important, the solutions for each obstacle are changed
every time the program is used."

"Methodology Logical Journey is an unconventional math program, in that
numbers and arithmetic operations do not play a role. Instead, this program
focuses on the logic elements of mathematics: attributes, patterns,
groupings, sorting, comparisons, and problem solving. SuperKids' teacher
reviewer thought this to be '...an excellent approach to introducing and
practicing logical reasoning and critical thinking skills.' "

"Bottom-Line Logical Journey is an exceptionally well-designed program that
will clearly develop math thinking skills. It is challenging, visually
captivating, and should hold long-term attention and interest. If someone is
available to explain how each obstacle can be overcome, Logical Journey is
also a good program for small groups and independent use in a classroom

I love to play this game, and so have all the students I have shared it with.
I have used it with small groups of 2 - 10, and with the whole class (the
school pack comes with worksheets and directions for extension lessons).

 -Gail, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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