The Times Educational Supplement
Maths games have enormous potential for raising children's attainment. They can stimulate their thinking, spark creativity and engender an enjoyment of maths like no other resource. Teachers take note: Counter Challenge delivers the goods at an affordable price.
This is a highly motivating, practical game that will provide children with an enjoyable and competitive context to practice their mental strategies, mathematical skills and understanding while having fun. It will reinforce essentials skills, knowledge and techniques and provide a context for teachers to assess mental strategies.
Counter Challenge is a game for one or two players, although children could play in pairs against each other to support collaboration and encompass different ability levels.
Players have a set of 12 counters with two numbers marked on one surface of each counter.
A quality board is divided in half and consists of an even mixture of patterned and plain squares. The rules and instructions are written in a straightforward manner although, initially, children will need guidance about how to play.
Once the layout is familiar and the game has been demonstrated, they will be able to play independently. The amount of help needed will vary depending on the age and ability of the players. They can move the counters in three different directions and points are scored by capturing an opponents counter.
Scoring depends on the scoring option selected and calculations are made using a combination of the four number operations. All scoring options involve multiplication.
This game will dramatically improve children's ability to manipulate numbers, particularly in using multiplication. Children will find it testing and taxing but ultimately stimulating and absorbing.
The game could be used in group activities within a main session, as part of a maths club or a wet play activity. Counter Challenge deserves pride of place in any classroom. Recommended.
John Dabell is a a primary maths co-ordinator.
The Guardian Educational
Our more able eight-to nine year olds used the resource. I introduced times tables with quick response questions and explained that these skills will be needed.
I handed out a selection of counters and scrap paper and explained the calculations/scoring method. The children then recorded the scores they could make using different counter combinations.
We discussed who could score more than100, how they did it and which counters were the most useful to get a high score. The children loved it!
They learned a new scoring method as well as improving their logical thinking, planning/estimating and number skills.
I can imagine schools developing Counter Challenge tournaments. The game is more versatile and challenging than other maths games I’ve seen. The one limitation is that it is only suitable for small groups at a time.
A fun, challenging game, which is excellent value for money.
Ann Douglas, Maths specialist & P/T teacher,
St Luke’s primary school, Redditch
This is a challenging board game for two that uses and practises maths skills, addition, subtraction, division but particularly multiplication.
There are different methods of scoring to suit the abilities of the players.
An excellent and fun quality game for children (8+) and adults, it comprises of a board with 24 beech counters. We found the rules a bit confusing and difficult at first,but once we had worked through them carefully there was no stopping us. Very much a game of strategy using moves not dissimilar to chess.
Each player has a set of twelve counters, each counter being marked with two sets of numbers. The board is marked out with different patterned squares that allow moves in different directions.
The aim is to capture the opponent’s counter and worked out the score for that capture by multiplying the numbers and then using the addition, subtraction or division scoring option.
The game is an ingenious way of improving mental arithmetic in a fun way.
We loved it.
Author - Keith Hall with Keith junior
Counter Challenge is everything it says on the virtual box. It is fun, works on many levels and is an excellent way to practice the basic arithmetic operations.
Development Director, NRDC
Institute of Education, University of London