What is Numbershark and how does it work?
Numbershark is a motivating computer program that uses 50 games to teach and reinforce numeracy and improve understanding and use of numbers. The wide variety of carefully designed games provide many ways in which to practise the same information.
There are over 500 topics to choose from, addressing each of the following number operations:
+ Addition – Subtraction x Multiplication ÷ Division
½ Fractions 1.2 Decimals % Simple Percentages Presented in very gradual steps
The program in basic steps:
Step 1: The program in basic steps: Select a list of ‘sums’ from the ‘topics’ e.g. 7 x table, easy adds to 100… To get to the database of topics, click on ‘choose topics.’ Numbershark gives a fresh set of ‘sums’ each time a topic is selected. There is a recommended set of games for every topic to get the most out of Numbershark.
Step 2: Click on one of the games icons. To get to the icons, click on ‘choose games.’ (Your chosen list of ‘sums’ will be applied to specific games.)
Step 3: Enjoy playing your game! Then try the reward activity…
Step 4: Pick a new game!
Step 5: When the topic is learnt, choose a new one!
The program includes links to video tutorials and a pdf of the full manual. This same information can be accessed on the ‘Using Numbershark‘ page on wordshark.co.uk’s website where you can view bite-size pdfs on Numbershark. There is also on-screen help for every game, under Help in the top menu of the program.
For what ages is it suitable?
Numbershark is most often used by students between 6 and 15. Most games are appropriate for any age although a few of the games are more suitable for younger children.
Older students, with reasonable number skills, use Numbershark to improve their mental maths – sometimes before exams.
Will Numbershark help with poor numeracy?
The program addresses many of the difficulties which lead students to dislike maths. These include poor short term memory, limited attention span and poor sequencing skills.
To help those with dyslexia and dyscalculia, many of the games give a visual idea of what is happening when you add, subtract, multiply or divide. Fractions and decimals are also shown visually. Variable speeds and other options meet all grades of skill.
Most games have no time limit (though there is a clock running) so students have space to work out their number strategy and to build confidence.
How can Numbershark be used at home?
Numbershark can either be used directly to support what is being learnt in school or used independently to gain confidence in number bonds and tables and number operations where there are gaps in knowledge.
Once students are set up by the administrator the program will keep a note of their names and personal settings.
It is recommended that the sessions are short but frequent as this not only maintains the child’s interest but gives the necessary practice needed for success.
There are no hard and fast rules, but generally, three or four short sessions a week (about 10-15 minutes each) seem to work really well to achieve significant gains.
It is good to be aware that some children need to go over what seems to be very basic work before moving on in order to make real progress. Equally, many children need to be encouraged to move on.
On the ‘Using Numbershark’ page of this website you can access a pdf on tips from home use as well as the rest of the manual and video tutorials.
Can Numbershark be used with more than one child?
Yes. The program will allow you to set up an account for each of your children. They will then be able to work at their own level and keep their personal settings and a record of their progress.
What does Numbershark 5 run on?
- A computer with a DVD drive or USB port
- Windows: 7 or 8 or 10
- Macs: OS X version 10.7 to 10.12
Please note: Numbershark is currently unavailable for android devices or in ‘App’ format