Improving Numeracy in the Classroom

 “Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”

– Albert Einstein

Maths is a tricky thing; a lot of children (and people!) either take to it or don’t. One thing for certain is that if a strong foundation of basic skills is provided at EYFS, KS1 and KS2, children are more likely to grasp more complex concepts in secondary school. Improving numeracy in the classroom is consequently critical.

EYFS, KS1 and KS2 curriculums are quite varied. There are a lot of areas to cover, which means children have a limited time to grasp one concept before having to move on to the next. Obviously this is a tough task for any teacher to manage and can often result in some children lagging behind others. Finding ways to engage and encourage children to develop their numeracy skills is imperative. Practice makes perfect!

How can Numeracy be improved?

Finding ways to keep children invested in learning maths can be a challenge. Below, we’ve outlined a few ideas for some engaging maths activities:

Get Creative

What is the most important element of maths? Numbers!

Most EYFS, KS1 and KS2 curriculum activities will revolve around numbers, so why not get children to create their own ‘kit’ for them to use and rely on?

Combine art and craft with numeracy by cutting out numbers and symbols. Encourage children to draw, decorate, include examples, and generally make them their own so that their ‘kit’ is personal to them.

Top tip: We’d suggesting creating 5 of each number (1-10) and 2 of each symbol.

Ideal for practicing: writing numbers, counting up to 100, number bonds, number patterns, odd & even numbers, number lines, times tables, adding & subtracting, doubling & halving, mathematical symbols, telling the time.

You can find Art and Craft supplies for your ‘Number Kits’ here.

Venture Outside

Sometimes a change of scenery can go a long way!

Maths doesn’t have to be limited to the classroom, activities that take place outdoors can be a great learning tool for teaching and reinforcing certain concepts.

For example, take a class outside and split into groups to practice doubling and halving, adding and subtracting and even number patterns.

Top tip: reinforce any outdoor maths activities by doing an indoor or written version for children to refer back to.

Ideal for practicing: number bonds, odd & even numbers, adding & subtracting, doubling & halving.

For more inspiration for taking maths outside, we recommend The Little Book of Maths Outdoors.

Introduce Games

The best way to encourage children to learn maths is to make the process fun!

Introducing a few maths-based games to the classroom will make practicing concepts much more enticing to children.

Fill in the Blank

Split the children in to teams, each with their own buzzer sound.

Write out a sum, number sequence or even spelling with missing parts.

Let the teams fill in the blanks! Remember, only teams who buzz can answer…

Ideal for practicing: mental maths, adding & subtracting, writing numbers, number patterns, number bonds, times tables.

Spell it out

This isn’t team game – it’s each to their own!

It’s simple; speak aloud a sum.

All the children have to do is ‘spell out’ the sum.

As soon as they’re done they put their hands in the air!

Top tip: ideal to do using the ‘Number Kits’ suggested earlier!

Ideal for practicing: mental maths, writing numbers, mathematical symbols.

You can find more inspiration from our maths puzzles and games resources.

Engaging Resources

Having the right resources can result in the significant improvement of maths skills.

Whichever area of the curriculum you are focusing on, having the right resources to support learning can be crucial.

Here are just some essential categories of resources for teaching maths:

You can view our full range of Numeracy resources here.

numeracy resources

You can also learn more about making maths more engaging by joining us for our workshop in Manchester, ‘Introducing Maths with Stories‘ which takes place on Friday 28th June.

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