Failing Maths? What can be done?

Numeracy Multisensory Programme

By Rosette Gatt

 

Numbers are everywhere. Without numbers we cannot survive. They play a huge part in our daily life from how many milk cartons we need on our supermarkets’ shelves, to how we can save on money when organising a dinner for friends, to knowing the time, what bus to catch, how to locate a particular house, how to launch a space shuttle and the list goes on and on and on.

The bad news is……some people find it hard to understand numbers and mathematical concepts. In Malta, there are a significant number of students who struggle with the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills.  Of the total Cohort of those born in 1995 a staggering 40% to 47% failed to get a pass mark in grades 1 to 5 in the core subjects of English, Maltese and Maths.

The good news is ………..Numicon was designed to help these individuals!

teachingInspire understood these difficulties and introduced the Numicon rationale and resources to the general public. It supports the individual, the teachers and also the parents to understand maths through Numicon, by offering direct support or training workshops for the teachers as well as for the parents.

Numicon is being introduced to children all over the country both in Malta and Gozo. Children with SEN needs are being introduced to Numicon by their LSAs in Government, Church and Independent schools. Two independent schools are using Numicon as a whole class approach to teach mathematics.

Inspire is offering one to one support and small group support to all children who are finding maths  difficult in the primary, secondary and post-secondary classes. Through the newly launched Learning Centre it has opened its doors to anyone who has difficulties with maths. Numicon changes one’s perspective when learning maths and gives a new meaning to numbers and how to work with them. It is never too late to start in life.

Inspire is also qualified and accredited to provide training to educators. To date it has provided training to a good number of teachers, education professionals and parents, who are now qualified to provide their students a multi-sensory approach to learning maths.

Numicon close upNumicon changes a teacher’s perspective of how to teach maths. It empowers both the student and the teacher to understand where concepts are not being understood. It provides dynamic assessments and records of progress to evaluate the student’s level of understanding and it works along-side the maths curriculum, offering ‘a picture’ to help students understand the otherwise difficult maths concepts.

For more information please contact Rosette Gatt on rosette.gatt@inspire.org.mt or contact The Inspire Learning Centre on 2098100 ext. 120.

 

 Feedback from teachers who attended Numicon training

‘It changed my perspective on the teaching of mathematics.’

‘I underestimated the importance of the language of maths.’

‘I never found a system that could help me identify so accurately where the student, did not understand.’

‘Teaching mathematics can be such fun’

‘A lot of support is offered throughout the teaching programme.’

‘The children understand much more by handling the material as opposed to filling in pages and pages of number computations’

 boysFeedback from teachers using Numicon

Numicon has made learning mathematics fun, fun, fun for children.’

The resources are very attractive and children love handling the material. It supports their visual learning and understanding.’

 ‘Numicon is a superb tool to have in class especially when started off with a young age group.  It makes number concepts so easy to understand, because of its multi-sensory approach.’

‘In class we use them to teach number concepts, sequencing skills and also to play games. They are ideal when introducing basic addition and subtraction.  It makes it so easy for the children to learn and visualize the concept being tackled.’

‘Our Grade 1s have taken to working with Numicon shapes and look forward to any numeracy lesson. We teachers do not get any more of an ‘UFF’ but a ‘YES’ or ‘COOL LESSON’ from the children and believe me they really take in all that is being said to them.’

 Teaching via Numicon shapes have made it easier for the children to grasp new concepts. By the end of Grade 1 the children would have excelled in their recognition, formation, number value and writing of numbers.’

With Numicon adding and subtracting is made easier.’

Numicon is useful for those who are struggling with numeracy concepts and also for those who are learning new concepts.’

‘Numicon gives instant and self –correcting results’

‘Thank goodness for Numicon and yes children are getting to love this subject from their early years!   

Feedback from parents of children using Numicon

‘The Numicon system is introduced into the curriculum at a very early age and it helped our son immensely to close the gaps in his understanding of maths.’

‘Being able to manipulate the shapes helped our son give a tangible meaning to the concepts of adding, subtracting and now also multiplying and dividing.  Counting on his fingers simply did not work for him.’

‘As my child has grown more familiar with Numicon, he is now moving away from requiring the concrete shapes in his hands and simply visualise the shapes in his mind.’

‘Numicon has helped our son visualise what his mind’s eye couldn’t grasp, turning abstract mathematical concepts into something concrete and within his reach.’  

 Rosette Gatt - Manager at InspireRosette Gatt has been working within the disability sector for the past 20 years. She started off by managing her own pre-school centre but eventually found out that being an early intervention educator with the Eden Foundation gave her more satisfaction. Since then she has seen the merge of the Eden Foundation and the Park of Friendship. This merge created the biggest organisation that can be accessed by individuals with any type of difficulty whether intellectual, communicative, physical or anything else that is impairing the individual’s development or life-style.

Throughout the years Rosette continued to develop in this sector and is now part of Inspire’s expert panel and advisory. Rosette is also an accredited Numicon trainer.