Would you like to share your story?
Jane, Mt Pleasant School, Christchurch
We are LOVING the Numicon and going all guns blazing into it this year.
For the first time in my teaching career I' m actually enjoying teaching maths also. That's huge!
Developing Teacher Knowledge - Helping students think
John Harward, SPELD Wellington
My students all enjoy learning about maths rather than having to struggle along burdened with what they through it was about. It really supports their thinking and therefore their learning.
I thoroughly enjoyed the session on Friday. You presented well, and the day was paced well too. What was most valuable to me was doing the exercises the Numicon way – as a homeschooler if I can absorb that way of using the materials then I can breathe it out as I teach my children. Would have loved that to go on all day, for all sorts of different mathematical concepts!
I had my first exploratory session with my three and five-year-old today, and it was fantastic. It is so intuitive for little people to understand number, and all we used was the two sets of 1 – 5 shapes and the 0 – 5 dice. Lots of fun, with them discovering how the shapes fit on top of one another to make shapes of five, quite without prompting. I am really looking forward to using the material.
Thanks again, Margi.
Pip from Wellington
My son has high functioning Autism and we take him to Wellington Early Intervention Trust (WEIT) once a week. They use it there and he loves it. He's really in to numbers and letters, so thought it would be good to get for home. He's going to need extending when he starts school (he's 4 in a couple of weeks and can already spell over 60 words) and there is so much you can do with Numicon. It's so perfect for us. Thanks
Mary Gillies, Jean Seabrook Memorial School, Richmond, Christchurch
All our children have severe learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. We use multi-sensory activities as much wherever possible to assist with the teaching of new concepts.
Numicon 3 has been such an asset. It provides a large number of ideas as well as ‘hands on’ activities to teach maths concepts. For example, teaching the concept of ‘bridging tens’ for addition and subtraction, we were able to use the Numicon shapes, Cuisenaire rods and number lines. Our children often get locked into using one particular technique/medium, so it has been useful for them to demonstrate the concepts using a variety of equipment.
Teaching division has also been so much easier with the Numicon equipment – they can touch, manipulate and see, which then enables them to explain what they are doing.
When completing practice work sheets for fluency, the children will often choose the equipment they want to use in order to complete their written work. It is mostly the Numicon quipment.
I am looking forward to progressing on to teaching decimals using this programme and equipment.
Jan Ward -Allen from Te Kura (The Correspondence school) writes:
I just thought I’d share some great news with you.
Two of my students have started using Numicon just last term. I talked to both parents today who said..
“Oh my- it’s amazing. He knows so much with Numicon.”
And the other parent said: “She loves it, uses it everyday”.
It was so great to hear, as both these children were doing very little before starting Numicon.
Hillview Christian School, Christchurch
Some years ago, a number of teachers at our school were trained in the Numeracy Project which promoted strategic thinking. Over the years, with staff turnover, a number of teachers came into the year 0-2 team who were not trained. We had a whole lot of equipment but not a lot of clarity of what to do with it. We then searched for an alternative programme.
We looked for a programme where:
- Maths concepts we taught sequentially with a good manual to guide teachers
- Maths concepts were taught thoroughly so that children had a very good grounding in Maths to allow for future success
- Terminology was used consistently throughout the classes
- A small group of materials could be used to teach a number of concepts
- Teachers could be confident that there were doing all of the above without needing extensive training how to use the programme
After a careful look at the programme and reading information via the website, we attended a full day of training with Margi. At the end of the day we were convinced that it was what we were looking for. Rather than waiting until next year to start, we decided to go for it this year and have begun our journey with Numicon!
Six weeks on...
We have found that our boys are engaged and loving Maths.
Our children are quickly learning their number facts and seeing relationships and patterns with numbers.
Their language and discussion reveals that their thinking is clear and structured. They have made generalisations about numbers and how you use them.
Our teachers are enthusiastic about teaching Maths!
A thankful parent and teacher
I went to a parent information evening at school. Numicon has been so amazing for my daughter. I was so worried about how she used to talk about herself, saying she was useless and couldn't do anything. She has so much more confidence now and LOVES maths. Just before I went to that meeting I asked her what she would say to the people who made Numicon. She said she would tell them, "Thankyou! I now want to do maths all day and all night".
I am so sold on it I am now buying the closing the gap class kit. I am going to use it as my main teaching resource with the year 3-8 small groups I work with in Maths Intervention. I cannot wait to see more amazing results.
Thankyou to all of you involved in sharing this Numicon resource with us.
A very grateful mum and teacher.
Home schooling mum
When my order from a few days ago arrived (yesterday) my kids were all over it for hours. They love using this!
'A' was slow and struggling with her set maths work on Friday-until I got out the Numicon!!
All of a sudden she could 'see' that 4+5 made 9 and 3+4 was 7, etc!
It was such a relief for me.
When she was guessing the Numicon in the feely bag- her delight was just 'magic'!
I then also used the Numicon to help 'J' with 'exchanging' in the place value activities.
It's become apparent to me that although he knows the mechanics of it on paper, he really doesn't understand the principle at all. So I look forward to helping him with this.
Gina Spicer teacher at Hillview
Thankyou to all of you who put in the hard work to allow us to improve what we are doing with our students. This is a fantastic tool that our school is certainly seeing the benefits from.
Joanne Jones, St Brendans School Upper Hutt
I went to a presentation on the learning journey Doris Nicholson Kindy went through with their Numicon. I thought then, that it seemed a great way to approach numeracy and a wonderful way to cater to all learning styles. I then watched all the youtube info and trawled through the website, a million times, before deciding that we would use it. I then bought 2 class kits and used those for a term, myself, before deciding that my syndicate all needed to be involved.(Hence the big order.)
Personally I don't see how they part company with Numpa. After add/subtract as they work beautifully with mult/div and proportions and ratios. I have had children in my New Entrant class who use the Numicon to do Stage 5 work.
I think it's totally brilliant and I will be tracking the syndicate to see the progress. We especially want it to fill in the gaps we have in Place Value.
Doris Nicholson Kindergarten, Upper Hutt NZ
We have spent the last year introducing Numicon to our kindergarten with wonderful results. Click here to read our story. The file is worth waiting for!!!! There are many photos showing you how we have used Numicon.
See more of our pictures in the article above. These pictures form part of the mural lining our driveway.
Donna Wrack, former Kiwicare Pre School, Deputy CEO
Our teachers are noticing great results with using the Numicon resource from our youngest to oldest children. I recently visited a centre where the teacher was working alongside the children in the outdoor area where the numicon shapes were provided and they were making various patterns in the sand trays. It was delightful to hear the mathematical language that was being discussed amongst the children and of what patterns that were noticing each other create. They were discussing length, shapes, width and measuring with the shapes how many it took to go across from one side to the other side and children predicting the amount it would take.
Suman Chand, former Kiwicare Pre School, Business Manager/Profile Book Editor
This Numicon resource is a great tool especially for our pre-schoolers. The teachers are using them on a regular basis and doing a variety of activities. They have also been using them to do art-as stencils and the children later talk about the shape, colour and the number of dots they can see. They compare their art with their friends and say things like, “I have five dots on my one and you have three”, “Mine is a square with 4 dots”, “I have a rectangle with two longer sides” etc which is a great way of learning early math concepts.
John Harward, Speld tutor, Wellington
Well done NUMICON!
It seems to me that students need to understand the basic structure of maths, the way that it has been set up to work and unless that happens in a simple way they will always struggle.
The Numicon Intervention Programme assessment is not a normed test. Tts assessment processes are extremely good at picking up exactly where the student is having difficulty. I stress again what a good teaching resource it is.
The first child I taught to understand basic maths using Numicon has made significant progress and is now only six months behind on the new national standards. She enjoys maths and looks forward to coming to her Tuesday remedial lesson.Numicon gave her instant success and gently led her into understanding basic concepts which she was clearly missing.
Jill Fleming, Pekerau School, Waikato, NZ
I attended your course in Hamilton last year and gained heaps from it. I am at present teaching the programme to 3 children with special needs and their progress has been amazing. Even our principal was stunned this morning when he popped in!!
Would love you to use my feedback – no need for a pseudonym. I am sold on the programme and keep raving about it to all and sundry. My parents are convinced as well.
Sue, Home schooling parent from New Plymouth
My son has gained some great maths connections since using the Numicon system. He now asks to do maths . I take a photo of the finished lesson (with my son posing in it) and then put it in a scrapbook for him so he can refer back to it. So much more fun than worksheets. (Although he has just started to become fascinated with maths codes). Great product.
Andrew from Melbourne
I work as a Numeracy Coach in our network and have trialled Numicon with our Prep teachers this year.
They have been really impressed with the outcomes for students, especially the support it offers students struggling with early numeracy concepts. We recently bought another two kits for our school and aim to expand our work with Numicon next year into Years One and Two.
I have also been to other schools in our network and they have been very interested in looking further into the benefits of Numicon. Hopefully we’ll see more people getting on board soon.
Pam, lead teacher of Maths
Numicon is so clear- the lesson plans, resources etcetera are all there- it is easy to differentiate (in my opinion.) We introduced Numicon to our entire Junior department.
It became evident that those teachers who used Numicon methodically at each new concept time before they started integrating other equipment (in the Numicon way) had the greatest success. Those that tried to teach only class lessons didn’t do as well.-although the IWB resource was useful for whole class work.
I had also surveyed the teachers. At the start many of them had a weak knowledge of mathematical ideas and terms. At the end the majority had improved in their knowledge and felt they were more competent teachers of Numeracy- even those who had actually been sceptical and had paid more lip service to its use than in-depth hands-on. We learned that providing professional development time for sharing and learning was essential for on-going success and to help new teachers to the school get up to speed with this amazing programme.
Christine, tutor from Auckland
I would like to say how amazed I was at the issues uncovered when applying the Numicon Intervention Assessments to my students.
Suddenly the reason these 10 year olds could not learn the times-tables or grasp the simplest of maths strategies became glaringly obvious. The very first set of questions immediately and clearly highlighted their needs. I was surprised at the gaps in basic counting that I had /assumed were secure and so had not actually taken into account when tutoring. Great programme!
Merril from Auckland, home school parent
My daughter has struggled for 3 years with maths and it has been quite difficult to pinpoint her exact problems. Now with Numicon, maths is easy to teach and easy to see where she is struggling. Maths is now fun and exciting. My daughter loves the shapes and is starting to easily understand concepts that she has battled with in the past. She even asks to do maths now. Well worth every cent!
Jodie from North Auckland
We are loving the Numicon at school - with exciting progress being made.
Our staff are most impressed with the Numicon materials and we have decided to look at buying the additional materials to support the items purchased from you at the end of last year. (This school has allocated a Bag of shapes to every child in the school in their Stationery List.)
I was using the pack today teaching my high school boys to recognise the numbers by shape, colour and dots and then to draw the numbers as dots. One year 9 (13/14 years old) boy suddenly said “I got it ! – multiplication is just groups of numbers” (I had said 'groups of' many times, but it finally clicked as he was repeatedly drawing the dots for the number 5.) We then went on to do several multiplication questions to which he easily drew the groups of dots and counted them up to get the correct answer every time. It was the first time he has really understood what he was doing and to watch his confidence and excitement and pride was just fantastic. Thank you!
Gemma from Whangarei, NZ
One of our students has autism and Numicon is one of the highlights of his day. He is so excited to open the box everyday.
My student has struggled with number for 5 years. We have tried every programme without much consistent success. But after 5 weeks with Numicon- he learned more than in the 5 years. What a relief!
I teach in many schools assisting students with special needs. Every school is impressed with the progress of their students and have begun to extend its use to other students in the school.
The kids loves their Numicon shapes. They have learned the 1 times and 2 times tables with it today on the Number Chart. It helped my oldest, dyslexic boy to see the shape and number chart, to understand timetables. It's just the naming of the numbers that he struggles with, I must probably just drill it each day, by letting him count each day, and writing them. They love counting on the Number Chart to 50 now, seeing the number and number name.Thanks. (Home educator)
I have been teaching a small group of students requiring remedial help in years 3 and 4. They have made outstanding progress in the 4 weeks and have taken their learning back into the classroom. Weeks later, teachers have commented on seeing a renewed interest and success that has stayed with the the students.
Numicon has allowed us to work at home before my child went to school. It has been educational and fun. I would personally not had the skills required to teach her like this programme has. I think itis really important that parents regularly refer back to the teacher's guide and read the instructions all the time so you fully understand the concepts and where you are heading. I am excited about what the future holds for us in maths. Numicon is something as a family we considered for 2 years before purchasing due to the “fear of the unknown” and as to whether it was going to be not kept going. I can honesty say “We all love Numicon” and it was worth every cent.
Our students love it and have enjoyed counting activities with kiwifruit! I cut out egg cartons to match the patterns and with tthe students' help painted the insides the same as the Numicon patterns. They are fun to use when making fruit salad for morning tea!
I have used NUMICON for years now with my classroom. I am always impressed with the quality of the programme and the equipment. But the success is what is most amazing. I enjoy using it for all children- gifted through to special needs. I have it everywhere in my classroom.
I use this programme in my early childhood centre. It's everywhere! We all have so much fun with it. We have it on the play dough table, natural resource table, at Mat Time activities, for daily routines (4 pieces of fruit), outside in the sandpit, throwing bean bags into container labelled, Play corner with 'shopping', construction corner for building towers, we have made some board games with Numicon, water play, the songs, cooking, music counting, patterns. I would be lost without it if I had to move to another centre. I encourage the children to tell me what they are learning and noticing. They are making some significant connections in maths that will take them on to school with confidence.
Louie, Dad from Sydney
"I have had tremendous success with Numicon.
My kids can visualize what quantity a number represents.
My 4 year old is excelling in arithmetic. He can do 21+31 mentally, in a flash. He sees 21 as 20+1 and 31 as 30+1. He also sees 3x10's in 30, 2x5's in 10 and so on.
I am getting so much joy and happiness from witnessing such amazing results knowing that I am building a solid platform for my kids education."
Meredith, mum of child with special needs
I personally found the Numicon programme a great asset to teaching maths to my child. I had no problem following the instructions. I did include other relevant maths skillsand making connections to everyday life into the appropriate activities as we progressed along. I see great potential in my child's maths skills due to Numicon, even at the level we have obtained to date, she has learnt many maths skills she would otherwise not have had. Any new skill is a bonus with our children, and a reason to celebrate! I highly recommend the use of Numicon material with all children, special needs or not.
See their story at https://www.ncetm.org.uk/resources/21494
Ann Howarth RTLB, UK
Mathematics is an abstract subject and can be a daunting area for many pupils.
It has been shown that pupils learn mathematical facts and rules better through practical activities and experience. This is clearly illustrated when watching pupils working with Numicon.
Numicon kits provide a stimulating and exciting range of resources to motivate the most reluctant mathematicians. The materials are bright and colourful and are supported by a structured set of multisensory activities with clear, easy-to follow instructions. This makes it an ideal activity for small supported groups and individuals in the classroom. There is also a range of assessment activities that
enables teachers not only to identify exactly where the pupil is but also to build up a profile of the pupil. This information will provide the basis for any interventions and learning support that may be required and will clearly highlight progress.
Closing the Gap with Numicon is a brilliant addition to the range of Numicon materials and can be used with pupils of any age. While a range of activities is set out in the comprehensive teaching guide, the materials are so adaptable that they become almost limitless in their uses.
The enthusiasm with which pupils using Numicon approach the work illustrates the motivational impact of these materials. The most valuable feature of the materials is the way they clarify very
Basic, but difficult to understand facts about number. Like many teachers I have struggled to make pupils recognise the difference between odd and even, not knowing if they really understood or were just making a wild guess. When working with Numicon, pupils readily recognise and explain the difference. Concepts such as larger and smaller also become very simple.
The important thing for me about working with Numicon is that it teaches pupils to enjoy mathematics, builds their confidence in their numerical abilities and motivates them to go on learning. It is very rewarding to listen to the discussions that these materials generate between pupils, and how they use them to support mathematical thinking.
Mary Ashby-Green introduced Numicon to Namibia to teachers who work in rural villages. The Jenny Shipley Education Fund provides ongoing educational support to this nation. Here is her account and photos from that time. Mary is also a literacy coach. Her website has more information.
Thankyou for all your help with Numicon. We had a productive and fun day learning it all and the teachers just loved it.
Thought you might enjoy these photos.
Numicon is a fabulous programme!
Celia Roddy, USA
Today I started using Numicon with one of my students who has Downs Syndrome, just a quiet bit of time together for us, and right from the start I learned so much about him! I am so thrilled and heartened to have Numicon. I'm so glad that the creators of it wrote so much about the language barriers that might exist for students. When I showed him the seven shape and asked him to use the pegs to match the shape on the board, he didn't seem to hear me but he immediately picked up another seven shape and put it down on the board. He then put down one shape after another onto the board and matched the colour shape to the peg shape, as closely as was possible.
I could see what he was thinking and why he was doing each action he was doing. What a relief this program is! We're going to have a wonderful time and I'm learning so much.
Next day: The teaching guides are so good!
I have worked with my two students again with Numicon, and one of them just experimented with the materials for 45 minutes. I was amazed. I sat with him, but he initiated everything. The other student also is fascinated by it, and I've been able to assess him on the first activity as well as observe so much more. I never realized what difficulty some students have with spatial relations and with orientation. I haven't been able to work with them on Numicon every day, but am going to change the schedule so I can.
Would you like to share your story? Download a guide here