Taking Action to Build District Numeracy Skills

Posted On Thursday February 13, 2020
Amanda Russett and Sheryl Lindquist
Amanda Russett, left, and Sheryl Lindquist at the Feb. 10 Board Meeting.

A district numeracy action plan was presented to the Board of Education at its regular meeting Feb. 10, by Amanda Russett, district numeracy coordinator, Sheryl Lindquist, district principal, curriculum, and Lisa Carson, director of instruction.

“There is a difference between math and numeracy,” said Russett. “You can be good at math without being numerate, and you can be numerate without being great at math.”

The new BC mathematics curriculum is designed to ensure students are numerate and have mathematical habits of mind. This includes deep mathematical understanding and fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought, and creative thinking.

“We would like to see students developing a deep understanding of the mathematical ideas through real-life contexts.  This way students are learning math and becoming more numerate” said Russett.

The new curriculum requires a numeracy assessment for students in grade 10, and the district is working with teachers and students of all levels to prepare them for that assessment.

A numeracy assessment pilot program for students in grades 3 to 7 is in its final stages in the district, with 19 elementary schools participating this year. Assessments for grades 8 and 9 students have been developed this year and have been piloted in 3 secondary schools. 

Starting in September 2020, district numeracy assessments will be mandatory for all district students in grades 3 and 6.

Russett also mentioned how parents will be supported throughout the district.  Last year, 428 families in 16 schools participated in the Kindergarten program, You Can Count on Me.  This program has been incorporated into the Strong, Prepared and Ready for Kindergarten (SPARK) program, created to help introduce families and young learners to Kindergarten.  This year, a program called Math Path for grade 3 students is being piloted in district schools.

“We want parents and guardians to encourage children to persevere through math and problem solving by having conversations with them at home.  The Math Path program hopes to provide conversation starters for families,” said Russett. 

Numerate students are confident in their ability to persevere and use mathematics in everyday life by recognizing there are multiple ways to solve a problem, choosing and using the right strategies and tools, and pursuing accuracy as they solve the problem.




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