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Primary Numeracy Project

The Primary Numeracy Project

Overview of the Primary Numeracy Project

This year, our school is participating in a pilot program called the Primary Numeracy Project. This Association of Independent Schools of NSW (AISNSW) initiative provides opportunities to build the capacity of our teachers K-6 in teaching mathematics. The project aims to promote the explicit teaching of numeracy skills in independent schools. School executive and teachers will participate in professional learning that provides evidence-based strategies to inform, not only what to teach in terms of numeracy concepts, but how best to structure and sequence this learning.During 2020, staff will engage in 15 hours of professional learning and undertake additional reading.In addition, K-6 teachers will be involved in lesson demonstrations and observations. The professional learning sessions will occur outside of school hours and are a significant commitment toward improving educational outcomes for our children.The professional learning is also supported by instructional coaching sessions to ensure the transfer of these strategies into the classroom context.Consultants from AISNSW will work with teachers throughout the year in using assessment screening tools, analysing data, developing programs and monitoring student progress.

Explicit Instruction in Mathematics in Numeracy

The Primary Numeracy Project is built on solid research evidence about the strategies that are most effective for all students. An essential element of the Primary Numeracy Project involves our teachers prioritising the evidence-based approach of explicit instruction.The key components of explicit instruction are: Daily Review: where teachers review previously taught content in order to build fluency and retain the learning. Teachers also review the prerequisite skills for the lesson that follows.

Presentation: where teachers make important ideas clear to the students by explaining and demonstrating in small steps, using a wide range of examples.

Guided Practice: where teachers guide students through many opportunities to use the new skill. If children have trouble, teachers re-teach the skill or concept. Teachers constantly check the understanding of students to see that they are learning and provide feedback to students’ responses.

Frequent checking of student understanding: where teachers make use of choral responses, gestures and mini whiteboards for immediate indication of student learning and the effectiveness of instruction. Student responses determine when to provide additional instruction or practice and when students are ready for independent practice.

Independent practice: where teachers monitor and assist as students apply the new learning independently across a range of contexts.

Professional Learning

The professional learning modules conducted by AISNSW consultants within the Primary Numeracy Project addresses knowledge and skills from each strand of the NSW K-6 Mathematics Syllabus. These strands are explicitly and systematically taught with the aim of having students master the essential concepts. Teachers explain, model and demonstrate these concepts to students and provide plenty of guided practice, all the while checking to see that the children are learning and providing feedback to students’ responses. When students are ready, they practise mathematics skills independently. Mathematics practice involves students applying skills and strategies, not just memorising facts.

There are three strands of the K-6 Mathematics syllabus that the Primary Numeracy Project professional learning focuses on: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. A central component of the syllabus for all strands, Working Mathematically provides students with the opportunity to engage in genuine mathematical activity and develop the skills to become flexible and creative users of mathematics.

This article is written by "The Association of Independent Schools of NSW"


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