Teacher2Teacher 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 escape." "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 setting." 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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