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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. Every time improvement planning comes I also try and think about how I meaningfully promote numeracy in the class. 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 (Thanks to the wonderful people on the RME Connections page who shared their ideas)
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. It’s also good for showing the different types of Christianity there are.
I have in the past had 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!)
You could also draw comparisons with the number of Christians or Hindus etc. with the population of nearby towns or as one teacher suggested stadium capacities which I quite liked.
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 can be a time consuming exercise with little reward. I have in the past instead asked 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! You may even want to get the class to copy down the bar chart in their jotter and draw conclusions. You may even want to go further with Pie charts of different demographics.
There is always getting pupils to calculate the Zakat payments of different people. I have done it before using famous Muslims. For example if Zayn Malik earns £0.25 from every sale of a One Direction album, if One Direction sells 2 million albums in a year how much will he earn? Part B) How much Zakat would he be expected to pay from this?
Calendar and Time Tasks
There’s lots you can do with calendars for example working out when Ramadan is going to fall for the next few years. Looking at the Muslim prayer times, drawing out the clocks that show these times for the whole week. You may want to get pupils to create a calendar of festivals. They could even take it one step further and compare festivals that happen at similar times of the year.
Paper Bag Game
Christian Aid have created a great resource, The Paper Bag Game that could be played with classes. This looks at the working conditions facing many in poverty and the difficult decisions that they have to make. I have not had a chance to do this with a class but looks like a great challenge.