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Link It! Numeracy

Link It! Numeracy – overview:   

 

In alignment with our school’s shared moral purpose of ‘constantly improving student achievement and ensuring that achievement gaps, wherever they exist, are narrowed’, the Numeracy Link It program in short is all about raising the bar and narrowing the gap. (Barber & Fullan, 2005) 

Numeracy is a fundamental component embedded in every learning area of the curriculum.  Ashmore’s Numeracy Link It! Program aims to provide opportunities for students to develop target concepts in a small group setting, with an emphasis on the utilisation of concrete materials, hands-on activities and discussions to reflect understanding and reasoning.

The program Numeracy Link It! is designed to complement the teaching of numeracy in the classroom within an inclusive model of education.  It is a whole school commitment to improving numeracy and the fostering of professional development opportunities designed to build teaching capacity by all staff including paraprofessionals.

Students are more engaged due to the small supportive group, hands-on environment, while the more capable students are offered challenges in the Cruisers group, which is an extension upon the main-stream classroom level, the Canons.

Why differentiate in Numeracy?

 

Students differ in their development of mathematical concepts due to:                   - * prior experience * attitude * cognitive development – knowledge, skills and strategies

Some students need more Concrete and Visual experiences which are crucial in developing a deep understanding of concepts.  Through the pre-testing results of students earlier in the term, differentiated groups have been designed in response to the identified needs. 

Concept focus – Number / sequence / place vale / mental calculations

These areas of numeracy were identified as the starting platform of the numeracy program’s content, as they are the basic platform upon which all future mathematical concepts are built upon. 

Number sense includes skills such as counting, representing numbers with manipulative and models, and understanding place value in the context of our base 10 number system. As students work with numbers, they gradually develop flexibility in thinking about numbers which is a distinguishing characteristic of number sense. 

The Three stages of Learning – once the foundation of number sense are established through the concrete and representational stages, abstract concepts can then be mastered.

Students are encouraged to develop reasoning and communication skills which illustrate their true understanding of concepts.  Students often are required to work in paired groups, to think creatively and to apply a number of different strategies to solve a problem.

Also reading strategies developed within the whole school Literacy Link It! program, can be incorporated to assist students’ successful reading of word problems in particular identifying language clues that suggest mathematical interpretations.  With the opportunity to engage in various activities to explore numbers, students will develop abilities to visualise them in a variety of contexts and relate to them in different ways.

The same structure has been implemented as for the Literacy Link It! reading program which includes group names to match ability levels of the students:

*Cruisers (extending A/B students), * Canons (extending C students), * Classics (extending D/E students).

Extra teaching personnel have been engaged in Numeracy Link It!  The STLaN oversees the explicit teaching of content and weekly activities.  Each student’s learning style and challenges to learning is acknowledged with the aspiration to support each student to learn in his or her own unique way.