Clear your throat and get singing. Hilary Norton gets to grips with some engaging counting songs
Counting Songs 1 screenshot'Counting Songs': geared for fun and engagementThese two CDs of counting songs will help reinforce this early maths skill in a lively and engaging way. Counting Songs 1 is aimed at children just mastering early number and features 10 popular songs which you will recognise, although some of the words have changed to cover only the numbers to five. The lovable animated characters engage the children, encouraging them to count along with the music.

Counting Songs 2 is similar, although this set of catchy, foot-tapping, sing-along songs has been specially written with an attractive and contemporary beat. Here different levels of interaction are offered as more suitable to motivate older children, including teens.

The songs on both CDs are offered in three progressive steps: stage one plays through the song one verse at a time; stage two offers counting before each verse; at stage three the child counts every number before the verse.

Some songs count upwards and some count backwards, with the accompanying activities consolidating and expanding the children’s skills. These are also offered in three progressive stages: simple counting of one character after another; counting characters along a number line; and identifying sets of objects.

The songs and activities can be used with mouse, interactive whiteboard, touch-screen or with a switch, and the counting sets activity can be used with two switches.

Both CDs include a wealth of resources: brightly coloured backgrounds, animated characters, (some of which will be familiar from other Inclusive Technology software, or its Helpkidzlearn website), pictures to put on to switches, counting posters, flashcards, lyrics, posters, printable sheets for colouring,  as well as an audio CD with all the songs on so a teacher can reinforce the counting work away from the computer as well. The accompanying booklet describes how to set up the switches so if you are new to switches you will find all the help you need.

Ratings for Counting Songs 1 (out of 5)
Fitness for purpose   4
Ease of use              3   
Features                   4
Quality                      4
Value for money       4

Ratings for Counting Songs 2 (out of 5)
Fitness for purpose   5
Ease of use              4
Features                   5
Quality                      4
Value for money       4

Counting Songs 1 and 2 

Two Windows CD-Roms with number songs and a wide range of resources for teachers working with special learners – disc 1 is for early learners and disc 2 for older – from £49 each, school licences available
www.inclusive.co.uk

Hilary Norton is an advisory teacher for ICT, SEN and inclusion in the East End of London, and is a freelance consultant and trainer