What is Challenge Mode? (NumBots)

Challenge Mode consolidates learning through 60-second skill rounds

Sarah Parrish avatar
Written by Sarah Parrish
Updated over a week ago

How is Challenge Mode different to Story Mode?

Story Mode develops conceptual understanding. Therefore the levels are highly visual and incorporate a variety of representations (e.g. bar models, coins, number lines).

Challenge Mode improves recall of key number facts (e.g. number bonds to 10, adding single-digit numbers). Aside from the subitising Challenges, the questions generally don't involve images.

The players' experience

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

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 Mode.

NumBots Challenge Mode game screen

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

  • Subitising

  • Number Bonds

  • Adding

  • Subtracting

Challenge Mode screen where players select which Challenge to play

Unlike in Story Mode - where players are required to pass each level in order to unlock the next - all 30 Challenges are available to play as soon as Challenge Mode is unlocked.

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).

Challenge Mode - view player's high score, play history, and leaderboard position for a Challenge

Tip: If a pupil finds the 1-minute timer counting down in the top left of the screen distracting or intimidating, they can tap/click on it to hide it. Tap in the same spot again to reveal it, or go to 'Settings' where they can set their preference.

Making the most of Challenge Mode in the classroom

Warm-ups: Preceding a lesson on number bonds to 5, for example, get your pupils to warm up on the Subitising to 5 Challenge; 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 pupils could practise the key skill of Subtracting Within 10.

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

Using Challenge Mode to monitor pupils' performance

Challenge Mode is a fantastic tool to immediately identify learners who are thriving or struggling on key skills. To see how your pupils are performing on each Challenge, click Stats > Challenge Results and select the name of your class.

Use the filters above the table to customise the data shown within it. Hover over the "i" icon, in a column header, for information about the data in that column.

"Passed" filter: 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. Pupils must answer in less than 4 s/q (give at least 15 correct answers in a minute) in order to "pass". (Note: The "Passed" filter is only for "Speed" - it isn't available when you select "Accuracy".)

Heatmaps: Our addition and subtraction heatmaps - a data representation unique to NumBots - show your pupils' median answer speeds for each addition fact up to 10 + 10, and their subtraction inverses. To view a pupil's heatmap, click on the colourful heatmap icon by their name, in the Challenge Results table.

Challenge Mode - addition heatmap

Tip: Encourage your pupils to replay and practice a particular Challenge by rewarding certificates to the fastest pupils, or to those who make the most improvement.

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 pupils 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 pupils' 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).

Did this answer your question?