>Home >About Numicon
Numicon's imagery uses patterns to represent each numeral.
The patterns are structured so number relationships can be seen and experienced.
Numicon encourages an understanding of number and arithmetic relationships.
Numbers are abstract ideas
Numicon meets all students learning needs! Not many programmes can claim that.
Relationships and operations are also patterns that are easily seen in this well-written and researched programme.
This experience and understanding of 'pattern' is essential for successful mental and written arithmetic and understanding algebra.
The Numicon programme is easy to follow, with clear step-by-step instructions illustrated with photographs. The multi-sensory teaching approach appeals to differing learning styles. Teachers find that pupils are motivated by the imagery and develop positive attitudes to maths. See Presentation of the benefits and philosophy of Numicon under Resources.
Make Numbers Real
The programme begins at the very earliest stage of what is number all about. In this respect it begins before the Numeracy Strategy NZ NUMPA.
Level One of the NZ curriculum is met by Kits One and Two with some advancement into Level 2.
Level Two of the NZ Curriculum is met by Kits Two and Three.
Level Three of the NZ Curriculum will be met by Kits Three and Four. Kit Four is due for release in 2013.
To download an information flyer at the Early childhood level click here
Watch Gattegno demonstrating Cuisenaire, which is used in the Numicon programme from Kit 1 onwards
Frequently asked questions:
The number patterns are so different from the Make-a-tens patterns used in NZ. Will this be a problem?
The Make-a-tens pattern of 5 parallel dots can frequently be a challenge for children who have counting/sequencing challenges and visual processing difficulties. The cluster model of the Numicon pattern is easier for children to work with. Consider dice patterns- they are compact cluster patterns, not lines of dots. Both the Make-a-tens pattern and the Numicon patterns are acceptable working systems for numeracy. Children will let you know quite readily which they prefer to work with. The Numicon patterns show the growing nature of numbers and their relationships. The patterns form a staircase.
Does this programme fit with the NZ curriculum?
Yes, the Numicon programme and the NZ Curriculum fit well together. The Numicon programme spends more time developing the foundations of maths and mathematical thinking before working with numbers beyond 100. That's the only difference in the pace of the programme. The NZ Curriculum list of effective pedagogy is exactly the same as the Numicon programme. Teachers enjoy using the teaching guide and Assessment as being thorough and effective tools in reporting to parents; they know exactly what the children are thinking and how they are progressing in the understanding.
Will our students be able to answer the questions in the National Standards assessments?
Yes they will, Numicon has a strong emphasis on hte language of maths. Numicon is based on the mathematical understanding that mathematics is based on pattern. The Numeracy Strategy is a counting-based system. The National Standards questions were written for schools using the Numpa programme and other curriculums. A teacher's own assessment is a valid assessment tool alongside the National Standards questions. Schools will be adopting their own assessment and reporting systems. The Information from Numicon going to parents will provide more than sufficient evidence of your students having success with numbers using Numicon. The Numicon assessment guide and procedures reveal the students' understanding and application in mathematics and provide very helpful teaching goals for students using IEP goals as part of the reporting to Boards and the Government. National Standards results have shown that many children are not learning as well as was expected; they are turning to Numicon to help them with exciting results.
Are students taught to use mental strategies with Numicon?
Yes, students are taught to use mental and visual strategies. Students who do not have this ability or are challenged with their working memory are supported visually by the Numicon shapes, their actions and the strategies taught. These students are often dyslexic, dyscalculic, have Down syndrome, Will-Prader Syndrome, Fragile x syndrome, or are gifted and require visual strategies because that's the way they think. Many gifted student process their problems intuitively or so fast, they are not aware of the steps they used to solve them. Mental recall is not possible for them. Investigations with Numicon provides wonderful learning experiences for them in the Numicon programme.
Why are there no worksheets?
The teaching and learning strategies used in Numicon are research-based and evidence gained through best practice model of children doing and saying, then recording. They are driving their own progress, not a text book or written work in worksheets. Knowledge and strategy are linked very closely. As a result of using Numicon, children have sustained their learning through to secondary school, showing they are confident with discussing mathematics and reasoning with understanding. A student may be able to demonstrate on paper how to 'do' maths, but in practice not able to demonstrate that with equipment or in real life activities. Similarly if the students is not able to converse confidently about their understanding they will not be able to use their knowledge to solve problems. recording their work reinforces their learning and provides a valuable link in the step to working with numbers in an abstract way. Worksheets do provide a fluency in using numbers and time for a teacher to work with others.
Should children be confident before moving onto the next activity?
For most students, yes, but for others, no. Many children require more time and opportunities to see their learning in context. The classroom teacher however, should continue to provide extension and repeat activities to support the students learning. Many students need more time to internalise their understanding and see the links before moving on. They often do not make the connections unless specifically taught to them. Adjusting the teaching strategy will often provide the support these students need. If recall is the problem, then providing visual and concrete supports will enable memory development. Calculator skills could also be part of their programme.
Numicon New Zealand