Numeracy in the Classroom.

Ever since I was in teacher training and first learned about CfE and how numeracy would be a responsibility for all alongside Literacy and Health and Wellbeing. I thought Literacy and H&W they will be easy to meet in an RMPS classroom, i do that every day. But how on earth am I going to meaningfully include numeracy. I mean we could talk about the millions of Hindu gods there are, maybe even do some sums, Gods in the Trimurti x heads of Brahma? (I did actually do this in a crit lesson once as a plenary)

Now reflecting on it, I actually do a lot of numeracy in class without even thinking about it. Anytime we are analysing data or opinions we are using numeracy. Anytime we are information handling we are using numeracy. I think the biggest issue as with any other skills is ensuring we are signposting the skills.

Here’s some examples.

Analysing Data

I always like to show pupils how diverse Scotland is religiously and how many different religions there are in the country as well as religion isn’t just the the 6 main world religions. So I show them this table. Census Summary Found on the Scotland Census website. Kids love reading through the different religion names. “Miss! You can actually be a Jedi Knight!”. It’s also good for showing the different types of Christianity there are. So here we are comparing figures and numbers.

I have recently got some S1 pupils to create an excel spreadsheet of different facts and figures from the Scottish Census. In this day and age it is an essential skill to create a spreadsheet, (especially if they are going into teaching!)

Post It Charts

Most teachers at some point in their teaching career have asked pupils to write an answer on a post-it note. For me I always felt this a bit of strange activity, it takes time handing out all the post it’s getting the kids to write on them then sticking them on the board for you to read out. So what I like to do is ask a volunteer to come help me arrange the post its into a bar chart of opinions, putting like minded opinions together. This is good at not only discussing individual opinions but why does the majority of the class hold this opinion or why do only a few people think this. Therefore is more of a meaningful discussion and you are again analysing the data and using numeracy! (I forgot to take a picture of it in my own classroom but this google image search shows the idea.


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