Numeracy is a K-12 focus in our school district. Numeracy and literacy are considered the two pillars of the BC curriculum and new Graduation Assessments in both Numeracy and Literacy are now in place in our province. With teachers, students and families that I work with, I explain the distinction between mathematics and numeracy. Mathematics is the discipline, the body of knowledge, content and processes/competencies. Numeracy is using mathematics to interpret and understand issues or solve contextual problems. Our goal is to develop both numerate citizens that use mathematics to make sense of the world around them.
One particular area of focus in our district is developing numeracy and related tasks with teachers and students in grades 6-9 as a way to bridge elementary and secondary learning experiences. One clsss that I am spending time with on a year-long focus around numeracy is the grades 5&6&7 class at Quilchena with teachers Samantha Davis and Jen Yager.
I visited the class at the end of September to introduce what numeracy is. We used the definition of numeracy from the BC Ministry of Education site and shared it with students and used the “exploding the sentence” strategy as a way for them to understand the meaning of numeracy.
The teachers had told me one of the current interests of the students was the climate strike. This was connected to their class focus on investigating youth who are agents of change and following the work of Greta Thunberg. I introduced the use of infographics to convey information and shared the following two images with the students. We discussed what we needed to know and do in order to be able to interpret the images and how different visuals can convey the same information but have different impacts on how we connect to the data and information.
At our next time together in October, we will think together through a numeracy task.