Users are given illustrated slips of information which they read, organise into groups and lay out across the screen. These are all about Trev, the boss of a Robot Packing Factory on planet Triffen. He is having trouble with his Robot Packing Machine and decides to compare its profitability with that of a new one. He’s finding the calculations a little tricky, so children are invited to help him out.
The problem involves addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, including the calculation of averages. The reliability of statistics and data can also be considered. While students must make accurate calculations and solve multi-step maths problems, the answer is open-ended. Once they’ve finished, they can generate a printable PDF report which outlines the session; students involved, their notes, groups and answer, as well as colourful screenshots of each stage. They can also go to a Reflection Stage in which they can playback the process and discuss it as a group, with their teacher or even as a class.
‘Trev the Triff’ could be used diagnostically within the maths curriculum to assess pupils’ ability to decide which operations and methods they need to use to solve a multi-step problem, as well as their confidence in working together to explore and justify their ideas.
Who is this app for?
Digital Mysteries: Trev the Triff works well with those aged 7-11 years old, but as a general guide, we advise Year Five (age 9-10) but also top set Year Four (8-9). By having three difficulty levels, it supports differentiation in class and can be suited to varying abilities/levels of knowledge. At each level (basic, standard, advanced) an added cost to Trev is brought in. Although these extra considerations allow the task to be suited to different groups, and therefore change the calculations they need to make, the mystery’s characters and outline stay the same, which means the whole class can still be engaged in one story together.
What’s different about Digital Mysteries?
• Truly collaborative: It is unique in that more than one student can interact with it at once
• Record of learning: Students can interact and have fun with exciting technology, then generate a printable PDF report of their session which shows what they’ve done
• Cross-curricular: Mysteries come in various topics plus many are cross-curricular in themselves
• Reflection: Sessions are automatically recorded so students can playback and discuss what they’ve done, emphasising the importance of the process as well as the outcome
• Speaking and listening: Due to its collaborative nature, each session aligns to this learning goal, plus ‘group discussion and interaction’
• Engagement: Working in pairs adds to the fun experience of problem-solving
• Research: We’ve done years of academic research on how to make the most of touch screens for learning in general, and collaboration specifically
What does a mystery consist of?
• Illustrated slips of information: Short snippets to help students with reading
• Open question: To maximise the potential of collaboration, discussion and expression of ideas, the nature of the task is usually open ended
• Extras: Most tasks come with personalised hints for those who need them, e.g. suggestions for organising ideas or simpler stage introductions to ease them in
• Description: This gives teachers the information they need to plan their session including the curriculum point each task links to, the advised age range and possible learning outcomes
How can I try other mysteries?
Tap ‘Developer Apps’ to view our current range. There are mysteries on subjects such as Computing, Maths and History.