How is Challenge Mode different to Story Mode?

Story Mode is highly visual - using bar models, clocks, coins, number lines, etc - to develop conceptual understanding whereas the questions in Challenge Mode generally don’t involve images as it's designed to improve straightforward recall.

Each Challenge focuses on one set of number facts – inspired by the work of Number Sense Maths - and players have one minute to correctly answer as many questions as they can.

The player experience

Challenge Mode unlocks once you pass Iron Level 26 in Story Mode. That's because we want learners to develop some of the supporting skills and understanding in the Story levels before attempting a 60-second skill round in Challenge.

Subitising Challenge game

There are 30 Challenges in total, each belonging to one of these four topics:

  • Subitising (new from April 2022)

  • Number Bonds

  • Adding

  • Subtracting

Players are encouraged to replay the Challenges in order to beat their high scores, climb the leaderboards* and earn trophies and certificates (improving their recall of important number facts in the process).

Making the most of Challenge Mode

Warm-ups: Preceding a lesson on number bonds to 5, for example, get your pupils to warm up on the Subitising to 5 levels; or before a lesson on addition that requires bridging a ten, your pupils could get ready with a few rounds on Number Bonds to 10.

Consolidation: Following a lesson on small number subtraction, your students could practise the key skill of Subtracting Single Digit Numbers Within 10.

Tip: Challenge Mode is great for recall development at home too so feel free to set your students some light homework to boost their high scores on a skill of your choice.

Monitoring students' performance in Challenge Mode

Challenge Mode is a fantastic tool to immediately identify learners who are thriving or struggling on key skills.

Click Stats > Challenge Results and select the name of your class. You can use the filters at the top to customise the view; and hover over the "i" icon in a column header for more information.

The "Passed" filter enables you to immediately see whether a pupil has grasped each key skill or not, by a simple tick or cross icon. They must answer in less than 4 s/q (give at least 15 correct answers in a minute) in order to "pass".

Note that the passed filter isn't available when you select accuracy; it's only for speed.

Our addition and subtraction heatmaps - a data representation unique to NumBots - show you the pupil's median answer speed on each addition fact up to 10 + 10, or their subtraction inverses.

These can be accessed by pressing the magnifying glass icon by each pupil's name when you select the "Adding" or "Subtracting" filter at the top.

April 2022 Update - focus on 60-second skill rounds

In April 2022 we released exciting updates to Challenge Mode, making it:

  • Easier to access particular skills by categorising and listing them.

  • Quicker to practise any skill as they no longer need to be unlocked one by one.

  • Simpler for students to see how they're performing by displaying their high score.

  • More efficient for teachers to see how each pupil is performing on key skills.

The result is that teachers can use Challenge mode as an effective practice tool to support the lessons you're teaching AND monitor your students' data.

* Player leaderboards are only visible to pupils and staff in your organisation (they’re not public) and they display players’ robot names, not their real names. While NumBots leaderboards normally encourage healthy, motivational competition, some teachers prefer not to allow children to see each other’s high scores. In this case they can hide the leaderboards from pupils by logging into their teacher account here, then going to Settings & Admin (in the left hand menu).

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