Information for parents and teachers CD-ROM KALKMONSTER

Information for parents and teachers
CD-ROM KALKMONSTER (without graphical symbols)

What part of the school curriculum is covered by this CD-ROM?
Of the 32 games only 3 are directly related to the skills that are
normally taught at schools. They test and train mental arithmetic.

What is actually tested and trained in the other games?
Many of the games train number recognition. The player either hears or sees a number and has to find an object with the same number.
These objects - racing cars, airplanes, boats, skiers or others - are identified by numbers, similar to real life situations. In many games finding the right object starts a small animation.

Is number recognition such a difficult task?
Normally not, but too slow or faulty number recognition is one of the causes of dyscalculia (math learning difficulty).
A very frequent error in reading or transferring numbers is wrong sequence, e.g. 34 instead of 43 (Symbol ).

What else is tested and trained?
Recognizing written and spoken numbers is essential for most math skills. Counting is a basic skill which is trained in some of the games. Kids with learning difficulties often find it difficult to understand that counting doesn't always go from left to right. Like in all of these games different strategies can be tried in order to see how you get the best result faster. Recognizing "face 6" of a dice is faster than counting dots.
Another important educational objective is the development of the memory span for numbers. In the table these games carry the symbol .
A combination of skills is needed for games like "pedalos" where
the missing pedalo out of numbers 1 to 10 must be determined.

Paying or changing money
(using predetermined value units) is trained by moving EURO-coins or DOLLAR-bills.

Special strategy games ( "Who wins?" # 31 and "estimate or add” # 32) require the ability for a fast estimation of sums.

For what age group should this CD-ROM be used?
To play without help a child should be able to read the instructions for each game. This is normally the case from grade 2 on.
With some help even younger kids should be able to do many of the games 1 to 16 and even a few of games 17 to 32 depending on their abilities. From grade 3 on a child should be able to play most games with difficulty level 6.
From grade 6 on (which includes adults) difficulty level 9 should be used and scores of 10 or more points reached in most games.
Game scores of 0 and 1 are not recorded in the score file.

How do you use Kalkmonster for a diagnosis?
Start each game in difficulty level 9 . If the score is not higher than 1 after the second trial, set the difficulty level for this game to 5 or 1.
Find out the used strategies for each game by observation and questions. Mark low score games in the games table below and/or print the players' score file in c:\HMM\MON\ .

How do you play Kalkmonster?
Let the player select difficulty levels and games.
For a good learning effect it may be useful to let two players take turns at the same game where they watch each other playing.
Please make sure that the players always spell their name exactly the same way. This is necessary for recording their scores in their own file.
Decide on a distinction for players with the same name (like Johnny1 and Johnny2).

How should Kalkmonster be used at a school?
Kalkmonster doesn't work from a server and needs no installation. Just insert it in the CD-ROM drive. The list of top scores shows the players with the highest number of MONSTERS.
In difficulty levels 1 to 5 you get one MONSTER for each game
score of 10 points, in difficulty levels 6 to 8 you get 2 MONSTERS, and in difficulty level 9 you get three MONSTERS. Only the best result in each difficulty group is counted for calculating the total number of MONSTERS. The list of top scores only contains
players who play on the same computer. Assign computers to groups of different proficiency levels.

How should Kalkmonster be used with LD persons (dyscalculia)?
Observe the player during the play. If necessary select another game or difficulty level. Prefer the games where the player can
improve the score by repetition. Omit games which the player finds too difficult or switch them to difficulty level 1.