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Gaelscoil Primary School, Limavady

Helping our children with Numeracy

Many parents worry about how they can help their children with Numeracy outside of school. There are many reasons for this including changes in Numeracy teaching, lack of confidence in Numeracy ability and sometimes a feeling of having no time. Don't worry, WANTING to help with your child's Numeracy development is the most important thing. 

       This page was set up in response to parental feedback in questionnaires, and will include many links and tips to help with your child's Numeracy development. The key thing to remember is that it isn't difficult to do or shouldn't take any 'extra' time.

       Our everyday life at home and journeys to and from home offer so many opportunities to allow us to help develop or children's skills in Numeracy. It could be seeing what is on TV and when, helping with the cooking, counting loose change or helping with the shopping.

     The teaching of Numeracy in school today aims at developing children's thinking skills, and teaching them a wide range of strategies which they can call upon and apply as and when required. It is aimed at showing them that there is always more than one way to do things. They are then encouraged to use the appropriate knowledge, skills, strategies and processes as and when is appropriate. Yes, they may have been taught a different method from their parents, but this allows the children and us to open our minds to the idea that there are a number of ways to solve any problem.

     An example: In feedback in a questionnaire, a parent showed concern that they were taught to always begin with the units when adding or subtracting TENS and UNITS. This is the case in one method, the formal written method, but there are other ways to do it.   e.g. 45+23= ___


Most parents will remember being taught the written method, where we ALWAYS start with Units.  

                                       T   U

                                       4   5

                                    + 2  3


                                      6   8


Teachers DO still teach this method, known as the (formal) written method. However, children are first taught to add T and U mentally, and  they can, if they wish, start with TENS.   4 Tens add 2 Tens equals 60. 5 units add 3 units equals 8. 60+8= 68. The same answer. The key thing is that they understand to seperate and group Tens and Units. The key thing we need to remember is that there are often many ways to do things in Numeracy. 

I hope that this page is of some help, and I will update it with articles, links and games as I come accross them.


Múinteoir Eoghan


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