Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Numeracy Quizzes

I've started adding some new quizzes to the Maths Quizzes page on the Skills for Life Website, and to Maths Activities. I've found I've needed some extra teaching materials for learners who are supposed to be working towards Level 1, but have real weaknesses with things like subtraction, tables and division. In an ideal world they'd work towards an E3 end test, but some are already at E3 in Initial Assessment.

I'm reflecting on why I've not felt a need to have these before. I suppose it's because I'm not able to work with these learners one to one this year and therefore cannot work with examples I hand-write off the cuff as the need presents itself. The published stuff is not much help: Maths the Basic Skills covers most of this need but progresses too quickly, Carol Roberts' Level 1 Numeracy assumes they've all got E3 well sorted and the examples are much too hard, and Skillswise also mixes harder examples on the same sheets, and the E3 part is not comprehensive enough. These learners, who frequently express that they do not like maths, quickly get too discouraged when they cannot do things.

Another direct issue is that multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100 does not enter into the curriculum until L1 (N1/L14 and N2/L1.6) , and you really have to be able to multiply and divide by 1000 as well in order to convert units in the same system (MSS1/L1.7). This makes the step up to L1 from E3 quite severe. Yet this skill underpins a lot else of Level 1.

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