At Gulf Harbour School, we are using Numicon which is a systematic and progressive approach to teaching mathematics. It provides access to learning mathematics through concrete apparatus and practical resources. Numicon provides our students with an experience of numbers through a structured set of activities with shapes and pegs or counters. The way numbers are split into parts is evident from the beginning, along with the comparison of patterns.
What is Numicon?
Numicon is Based on a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach. It encourages children to explore mathematics using structured imagery and apparatus in order to understand and explain mathematical concepts. It is a distinctive approach to children’s mathematical learning that emphasizes three key aspects of doing mathematics: communicating mathematically, exploring relationships, and generalizing. It encourages conversation and is hands-on. Problem-solving and inquiry learning are key aspects of Numicon.
The aim of Numicon is to make numbers real for children through them being able to see and touch them. Each Numicon shape gives children an image of what a number looks like. They begin to see the relationship between numbers, with each piece having one hole more than the previous one. It appeals to their strong sense of pattern, and helps them understand how numbers fit together. All areas of mathematics, number and algebra, geometry, measurement and statistics can be taught through Numicon.
Below is a video where Dr Tony Wing explains numbers and Numicon.