Brain training

Amy Macarthur tells us how Brain Training created a buzz in her classroom.

Probationer teacher, P5

This year, my probation year, I have been a class teacher of primary 5. This term I have been doing a games based learning project using Brain Training for the Nintendo DS. I decided to get my class involved in games based learning after attending an inspirational and exciting talk from LTScotland on Technology at the Aberdeenshire Learning Festival.

I applied for Brain Training through the Games Based Learning (Aberdeenshire) Glow Group, stating why I felt my class would benefit from the project. In all honesty I felt that their mental maths was really needing a shake-up and I believed GBL could be an exciting and innovative way forward!

As soon as I mentioned that we were getting Brain Training there was an instant buzz around the whole class. Everyone was excited about the fact that rather than doing mental maths, we would be using brain training every morning daily for twenty minutes.

Each morning the class waited patiently until eventually they arrived! As a structure to the project we firstly did a 'number challenge' that I downloaded from Glow. The challenge contained 100 mental maths questions. Each child was to complete the challenge and record their time. At the end of the project this will be done again and a comparison can be made.

Every Friday the pupils complete a 'brain age check' this measures how old their brain is. They record their brain age and at the end of the project each pupil will create a line graph to show their development.

Overall this project has been a huge success. The pupils are excited and WANT to do their brain training everyday, they don't realise that they are actually doing maths! One of the games they can play is called 'x20' in this game they are given 20 mental maths sums to complete as quickly as possible. Our leading time is currently 10 seconds- they are competing to get the best mental maths time!

I would recommend this project to any class from primary 5 upwards. The benefits are huge and most importantly pupils are mixing challenge with enjoyment.