Our primary specialist Vikz has introduced a fantastic new tool to Spark this year – Numicon. Already this amazing addition has had a profound affect on our lessons. Students, teachers and parents are finding that Numicon is a wonderful supporting tool in lesson time. But what is it really and how does it work?
Numicon: What is it?
The Oxford University Press describes Numicon as ‘a multi-sensory approach’ to maths. It is used both at home and at school. This means that using it at Spark has unlimited benefits for our students. Vikz teaches several of our Maths classes up until Year 7 and has found Numicon is a wonderful tool to use for all ages.
These fabulous brightly pieces are useful for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They can also be set out next to each other or piled on top of each other. Even more, you can use any of the different sized blocks together – it all depends on what types of numeracy you’re learning that day!
How does it actually work?
Numicon works by giving students a visual and physical representation of the sums they are doing. Have a look at this picture:
If you are working on addition, the pieces let children see different ways of making the same number. Students can literally fill in the gaps to make 20!
If you were looking at subtraction, you’d simply use the pieces in reverse. Ask a student to answer 20-10 using two 10-pieces, and they are able to lift away a 10-piece to help them work out the answer. For students who struggle with numeracy, this tool can make a huge difference.
How are you using Numicon at Spark?
Have a look for yourself!
Understanding the four times table can be as easy as reaching for a new 4-piece. First the students get to grips with their times tables using Numicon… Then their overall understanding is improved from a ground level up. Vikz often has students compete against themselves in ‘speed runs’; how many correct times table answers they can write down
at the beginning of the lesson versus at the end of the lesson. Unsurprisingly, a little work with these amazingly colourful pieces and the second ‘speed run’ is always an improvement!
Here you can see one of our Year 3 students working hard at his 3 times table. In addition to Vikz’s teaching, Eshaan finds Numicon a great benefit in his lessons.
Here at Spark we are always looking for new ways to teach. We are passionate about helping our students. You can see already, in only October, how helpful Numicon can be for our classes. Of course, it is our brilliant Vikz who has been able to use this educational tool to such great effect. You’re doing amazing work there, Vikz, keep it up!