The statutory numeracy hour may be more than a year away, but teachers are already considering the changes it may imply for their teaching styles and resources.
Numeracy Lessons by the National Numeracy Project (NNP) is timely.
The project, set up by the Government in 1996, aims to raise standards of numeracy in schools and provides on-site support, in-service training and management guidance. This book is the second NNP resource to be made publicly available - the first was a book of mathematical vocabulary.
There are 48 lessons, six for each year from Reception through to Year 7. They are grouped in threes or sixes, showing progression within particular number concepts, and all follow the NNP recommended format: introduction, main activity and plenary.
Teachers are advised on the lesson objectives, resources, important language, organisation and differentiation, and how to pull the experiences together at the end. Each section is followed by a list of further activities. The format is clear and highlighted quotes illustrate how the teacher might give explanations.
Children are told explicitly what the content of the lesson is to be and the first of each set of lessons usually begins by establishing what the children already know about the topic.
The activities involve action, decision-making and discussion. Most are purenumber-work, some involve real-life situations. All promote mental number skills.
This is an excellent resource. Children will be challenged, with their interest fully maintained. The activities are sound, being based on the experiences of many teachers and educators.
* Annie Owen is a maths education lecturer and consultant.