Nubble! and Nubble! Express – product review.

Nubble! and Nubble! Express
By The Association of Teachers of Mathematics.

What fun! This program is easy to use and will engage even the most reticent thinker in manipulating numbers to get the best score. I have used it with students of different abilities in the classroom either as an interactive whiteboard activity, in small groups or individually. Every way has been a success. The Express version has allowed even those who find number work difficult to complete a game within a reasonable period of time so there is no chance to get bored. The Express version has also been used as a starter and plenary, students using the numbers to find what alternative answers there are and which would give the best score.

This is what one of my students has to say:

Name of game: Nubble Express.

My name is: Katie.

What I thought about the game: I found it really enjoyable to play, I mainly played against the computer, and won. Itâ€™s a really marvellous game to play.

How it has helped me: It helps me to use different multiplication (e.g 4 2 3, you could do 4+3=7+2=9 it is a great way to learn.) and made my brain develop a lot since I have played the game.

Katie is a Y9 special needs pupil who is operating at the age of a seven year old, she does not like working independently – except on Nubble! She asks for it every lesson.

What is the game and how do you get a Nubble? The Express game consist of up to four players rolling three five sided dice to generate whole numbers between 1 and 25 using all four operations and brackets with the aim to cross the board from bottom left to top right. (Other versions have four dice and numbers up to 100). Points for right answers are awarded according to the position of the chosen answer counter on the board. Points range from 10 for 1 to 6 up to 200 points for 23, 24 or 25. In addition there are 50 points for completing a triangle of numbers and this is doubled if the triangle with is completed with a prime number.

As players become more experienced they get more proficient at finding alternative combinations of numbers to make the higher scoring numbers or to block an opponent. Thinking skills are developed with respect to manipulating numbers and strategies, and, if used as a team game, cooperation. There is also the option to turn on the timer, so once the skills are mastered there is still a challenge to be met. There are three difficulty levels and the option to play solo or against the computer, making it ideal for a single user either at home or school.

Loading the program caused no problems and the instructions were easy to follow although, as a teacher, I would like to be able to print out a set of the rules to help users who find reading difficult. Also, students with vision problems would appreciate not having to read yellow text on a dark blue background. It is possible to make a copy using Print Screen, but this will have a blue background.

This is the only downside in what is a really good resource and the price represents really good value both for school and home use, even at the single user price.

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