# Numeracy

## Does Numeracy and mathematics cause confusion and anxiety in your child?

## Are they having trouble with?

- the language of mathematics
- remembering number facts
- learning strategies (including suitable counting strategies) for working out calculations
- choosing appropriate strategies to use in different operations
- understanding place value.

**My Programme can help!**

Research has identified three core skills that children need to develop before they can really start to progress with maths: counting; the equality principle; and the language of maths. (From: http://www.teachingexpertise.com/)

**I cover all three areas:**

**Counting**

Many children have this skill by the time they start school, but for some, it is a rote exercise that they don’t really understand, often failing to make a one-to-one correspondence between the spoken number ‘name’ and the object. In these cases, the skill must be explicitly taught and practiced. Moving beyond the simple level of counting a single group of objects, the child then learns to add together two small groups. This can be done in several ways:

- the count-all strategy
- start with the largest number and ‘count on’ (the ‘min’ strategy)
- retrieve a known number fact from memory (no need to count)
- retrieve a number fact from memory and adjust it to suit (5+6 can be worked out by recalling that 5+5=10, and adding one more to reach 11).

Whereas many children learn quite quickly which method is the fastest/easiest to use, some do not; they can stick at the ‘count all’ stage and need to be shown how to move on to more efficient strategies.

**The equality principle**** *** *

Children may learn how to add together two and three, without really understanding the principle at work.

They need to know that 2+3=5 is an equation: it is balanced on both sides. The question, or number story, can be presented in different ways: 2+?=5, ?+3=5 or 2+3=?, but is still the same question.

The = sign means ‘the same as’ rather than, as is often thought, meaning ‘makes the answer’.

**Mathematical language**** **

Children develop their understanding of mathematical concepts not only through their actions, but also by listening and talking with others. Language is extremely important in this, and learners with general language difficulties will have difficulty in interpreting situations, finding information, conveying meaning and remembering. They will be slow to move from understanding concrete experiences of the ‘real world’ to the more abstract language used to describe and quantify in maths. Lack of understanding of terms such as plus, minus, difference, take-away, carry, borrow, exchange etc. can be the cause of early failure with number work.