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Micro Smile

by Richard Millwood published Oct 09, 2012 07:25 AM, last modified Jan 09, 2013 09:00 PM
The first 30 SMILE programs for the BBC Micro Model 'B'


by admin published Jan 10, 2013 06:25 PM, last modified Jan 10, 2013 06:35 PM
This collection of mathematics software was published by the SMILE (Secondary Mathematics Individualised Learning Experiment) - a radical system for teaching mixed-ability classes which used a resource bank created collaboratively by teachers

micro-smile-cover.jpgPublished in 1984 by the SMILE Centre, this popular set of programs was used widely in many schools to supplement maths teaching.

The first 30 programs were:


SMILE No.TopicDifficulty
ANGLE90 1721 Angle 3
BOAT 1626 Logic 3
BOXES 1625 Place Value


CIRCLE 1702 Investigation
ELEPHANT 1607 Co-ordinates 4
FACTOR 1708 Number Patterns 5
FROG 1651 Investigation
GUESS 1605 Place Value 0
GUESSD 1606 Decimals 3
JUGS 1652 Logic 6
LINES 1641 Games 2
LOCATE 1715 Co-ordinates 5
MASTER 1653 Logic 3
MAZE 1609 Logic 1
MULTIPLE 0330B Number Patterns 4
NIM 1604 Game 6
PILOT 1667 Angle 5
PREDICT 1691 Logic 6
QUEENS 1714 Puzzles 5
RACEGAME 1654 Vectors 5
REFLECT 1623 Motion Geometry 4
REVERSE 1608 Puzzles 4
RHINO 1621 Co-ordinates


ROSE 1731 Number Patterns 5
SNOOKER 1624 Angle 3
SPIRALS 1776 Investigation
TAKEHALF 1650 Shape
TILES 1617A Shape 3
TOWER 1666 Fractions 4
VECTMEET 1622 Motion Geometry 6

The programs were translated and enhanced by Pete Smith with the exceptions of GUESS, GUESSD, ELEPHANT, RHINO, SNOOKER and MASTER which are by Siobhan Leahy. The programming was funded by the Microelectronics Education Programme.

The programs are © 1984 Council for Educational Technology


by Richard Millwood published Oct 09, 2012 09:55 AM, last modified Oct 10, 2012 01:47 PM
This program was first written in 1979 for one of the first computers used in schools, the Research Machines 380Z, later becoming part of the MICRO-SMILE suite of programs used in schools to learn about angles.

The first version of this software was developed by Richard Millwood as a Mathematics teacher at Scott Lidgett School in 1979. Its intent was to simulate a snooker ball, but when shown to school pupils it became clear that it engaged them in an inquiry to find the relationship between number and angle.

Later, it was proposed to make it a resource for the Secondary Mathematics Individualised Learning Experiment project (SMILE). It is resource number 1624 and was developed further for the BBC Micro. In 1984 the SMILE project published 'MICRO-SMILE - The First 30 SMILE programs' and Snooker became part of that package.

This is an extract from the MICRO-SMILE booklet:


Snooker diagram 1.jpg

Estimate the angle and pocket the ball! The outline of a snooker table is drawn with a ball somewhere on the table. The user is asked for the angle (zero is 'north' with the angles measured clock-wise as in a bearing) and then the speed (1 is slow, 10 is fast).

The ball bounces around the table and if it does not fall into a pocket it slowly comes to a rest for another try.

The program is highly motivating. Children without a full understanding of the measure of angles will enjoy playing and will ask for information. (There is always at least one pocket to aim for with an angle less than 90˚). Also, there is a feed-back for the child since it is immediately clear whether a particular angle was much too big or just too small.





Snooker diagram 2.jpg


by Richard Millwood last modified Oct 09, 2012 09:51 AM
SMILE was an ILEA mathematics project which produced learning resources for children of all abilities in the 11-16 age range. Most of the many items were written by practising teachers and this included the design of the 30 computer programmes described in this booklet.

PDF document icon 19840000 MICRO-SMILE A5 150dpi.pdf — PDF document, 5.36 MB (5624699 bytes)


by Richard Millwood published Oct 10, 2012 12:41 PM, last modified Oct 10, 2012 12:41 PM
Image JPEG image Snooker diagram 1.jpg by Richard Millwood — last modified Oct 09, 2012 10:02 AM
Image JPEG image Snooker diagram 2.jpg by Richard Millwood — last modified Oct 09, 2012 10:02 AM
Image JPEG image micro-smile-cover.jpg by admin — last modified Jan 09, 2013 09:39 PM