Number Bunnies supports the introduction of counting and number recognition. Numbers can be represented by numerals and a variety of different symbols. Children can practise counting up or down in a range of up to ten numbers between 1 and 50. There are nine different bunnies and a mole in disguise to help with the counting, and Mr and Mrs Charlie give support and encouragement.
There is optional switch access using one or two switches and there are alternative screen layouts to help the teacher make optimum use of a whiteboard. Numbers are also spoken in recorded speech.
Children cannot make wrong choices, in the sense that only the correct item for each move can be chosen and each round can only be completed by following the correct sequence, thus reinforcing number patterns. For example, if a user clicks on the wrong door, there will be a knock or a bell-ring but the door will not open.
When the program starts, the user is shown up to six buttons which represent six possible Configurations. By altering these Configurations, you can control how each of the three activities are set up.
By default, the program shows two Configurations for each of the Activities A, B and C. You can alter any of these. For example, if you wish to use only Activity A, you could set up all of the Configurations for different levels of difficulty within the Counting activity.
Counting. Click on the bunnies in order, either counting up or down.
Symbol matching. Identify the value of the symbolic representation of a number and click on the appropriate rabbit.
Number matching. Pick up a numbered rabbit and drop it in its own burrow.
In all Activities, the Bunnies finish each round by closing the doors to their burrows one at a time, and are counted as they go.
CONTROL + F1:
This opens the About box. Use this shortcut to update your serial number or to check your licence details.
CONTROL + F2:
Configurations editor, used to change the settings of the program.
CONTROL + F3:
Number Bunnies is a Talk·2·Talk program; you can add other languages to support EAL and MFL.
CONTROL + F5:
Toggle the cursor on and off. This can be useful when using the software with a whiteboard or touch-sensitive monitor.
To leave the program, press ESCAPE or click the arrow at the lower left corner of the screen. ESCAPE will also take you from the activity back to the title screen.
Each of the Activities has several options. The Configurations Editor is opened from the main menu screen by pressing CTRL + F2.
The upper six icons down the left-hand side of the screen represent the six preset Configurations. Select an icon to edit that Configuration. Choose the lowest icon to edit the keyboard mapping to any switches.
Items which do not apply to a selected Activity are greyed.
Click A, B or C to choose which activity will be available under the selected icon.
A Round is completed when all the numbers in the selected Number range have been used once and all the bunnies have closed their doors. You can specify 1 to 99 rounds.
If you choose Activity B, you can select from a drop-down menu which symbols will be displayed for counting in the Symbols Panel.
The range to be practised can span a maximum of ten numbers, but the start and end of the range are adjustable. Although the First and Last numbers can be set with any number from 1 to 50, they are linked so that one is never more than ten higher or lower than the other. If the First number in the range is higher than the Last, children will have to count down from the largest number shown. If the First and Last numbers are identical, only that number will be shown.
By default , the numbered doors are shown in sequence from top left through to bottom right. If Random doors is ticked, the doors appear in random order.
If you have chosen Activities B or C, the symbols or numbers that appear in the Symbol Panel can be randomised by clicking Random symbols.
Each Configuration can have up to two switches. Keyboard mapping for the whole program is set after clicking
the System icon – the lowest on the left-hand side. The Dwell time (scan rate) for single switch can
also be adjusted for each Configuration.
Switch users can always start up switch control from the title screen by simply activating a switch. A scanning highlight is then used to choose on- or two-switch control. The mouse can be used while switch control is active; after a short period of mouse inactivity, switch control is restored.
For children with poor visual discrimination, any or all Configurations can have the background faded to emphasise the key elements.
To make best use of a whiteboard, the Symbols Panel in Activities B and C can be set at the top or bottom of the screen.
You can toggle the cursor on and off by pressing CONTROL + F5 at any time.
Changes made to items on this tab affect all Configurations.
When Number Bunnies is first installed it will run in a window that may not fill the screen. Click Full screen to change the setting.
By default, a single switch is mapped to the SPACE BAR and two switches to the SPACE BAR and ENTER. You can change these settings to match your standard switch mapping by clicking in the appropriate boxes and pressing a key.
The dwell time for single-switch use can be adjusted for each Configuration.
This program is in our Talk·2·Talk range which gives the user exposure to two languages in parallel. This option only appears if one or more additional languages have been installed; teachers have the option of using any two. Contact Resource Education or your usual supplier for details.
If you have purchased additional languages, put the Languages CD in the drive, press CONTROL + F3 from the main menu screen and follow the on-screen instructions.
When the installation is finished, open the Configuration editor (CONTROL + F2) to see the additional features shown at the bottom of the panel.
Title screen language
This is found by clicking the Systems icon. It sets the language that the program starts in. You can choose from any installed language.
In each of the six Configurations, you can choose which language will be presented to the user as the First language. Any text on the screen and all recorded speech is then in this language.
There is an optional Second language which will repeat any spoken phrases in another tongue, rather like a simultaneous translation.
Any spoken words will be heard initially in the First language, followed by the same expression in the Second language.
Choose None for single-language use.
The Talk·2·Talk system we have devised can support up to 40 different languages, giving teachers the opportunity to develop skills in both modern foreign languages (MFL) and English as an additional language (EAL/E2L) by immersive means.
There are several areas in which this approach will be useful:
Getting English-speaking children familiar with another MFL such as French or Spanish.
Helping speakers of community languages such as Urdu, Turkish, Somali, Polish to become familiar with English – or indeed, their own language.
Assisting in teaching in bi-lingual situations such as apply in areas of Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
For details of the language sets that are available, see the Talk-2-Talk pages.
Using Number Bunnies
The three Activities, A, B and C, do not necessarily indicate the order in which they might be used. They are designed to present basic counting, number recognition, sequencing and partitioning in a variety of ways, leaving the teacher to create Configurations that are best suited to specific needs.
Users click on the doors in order – either up or down – until all the doors are open. When all the doors are open, the rabbits close them in the same order in which they were opened. When the numbers are randomised, pupils will have to search for the next largest or smallest number in the sequence.
B Symbol matching
Open doors are presented in sequence or random order. Items to be counted are shown on the Symbols Panel. Each symbol has its own display characteristics to give children practise in counting groups of five or ten without counting individual elements:
Carrots showing numbers less than ten are shown as individual units to be counted. Numbers greater than ten are shown in sets of two lines of five.
Tallies are always shown in sets of five – four vertical strokes and a diagonal fifth – but are grouped in tens.
Each Domino shows a maximum of ten with up to five spots on each side.
Fingers are drawn to represent the user’s hands from their own point of view, with the count starting with the left thumb and continuing from the right hand little finger counting six. Hands are always shown in pairs to encourage the natural grouping of five and ten.
Numbers under ten can be shown with standard Numerals, making this setting of Activity B a variation of Activity C. Numbers greater than ten are partitioned into a number of tens and a single number representing the units, all linked by plus signs.
The symbols can also be presented in a Random order on a per round basis. For the best effect, this should be used with a limited range of numbers – five or less – to emphasise the different ways a numeral can represent different symbolic representations of objects.
The object, of course, is to click on the door number represented by the symbols or numerals.
C Number matching
The Number Bunnies appear on the Symbols Panel with their number. They must be picked up in order (either ascending or descending) and dropped into the correct burrow. Once clicked, the numbered bunnies latch to the cursor and there is no need to hold down the button, just click when the cursor is over the correct hole.