The NUMERACY Project



Anyone who knows me very well will doubtlessly find it hilarious to see me writing about Numeracy !!! I am a self-declared and, so I thought, incurable Maths Dummy who never saw the point of much of what we did in Maths at school, gave the subject up after scraping my C at O'level and who has relied heavily on a calculator and Excel ever since !!! So, for me to be even considering a whole project based on Numeracy is a definite step out of my Comfort Zone.
Now, some clever person once said :
comfort-zone (1)
so I feel like I am truly on the edge right at this very moment.

You may wonder why I want to push myself into this No Man's Land of Maths where I feel out of synch in such a way ? Well, two major reasons really. One - I want to confront my own demons linked to my fear of sums and to work on my logic skills. When you think about it rationally, there isn't really any solid reason why I should be such a dummy with numbers. I obviously lost my confidence at some point along the way when it comes to Maths, but I refuse to believe it is too late. I am always telling my trainees that it is never too late to progress in language, so time to practice what I preach !

Secondly, the more I read, research and work on the question, the more convinced I am that Numeracy can be a fabulous vector for working on language skills. I am becoming increasingly interested in Bloom's Taxonomy for learning and how we need to engage our students in Higher Level Thinking. Too often in language lessons, the thinking levels remain fairly basic. I am convinced that engaging in mathematical questions in English could offer a key to pushing the limits of the Thinking Skills question.

I struggle to stay calm when my 17 year old students are unable to master basic numbers in English and would prefer to opt out of a game rather than try to put a simple number into English. Ten years of English and they don't know how to say a basic number such as 50 ? That can't be right, surely. How can we work in the early stages to avoid this happening ? In my role as teacher trainer, I am so lucky to have the freedom to be able to go with this idea and see where it takes us. This section of this blog will be the place to follow progress. So hold on, we are about to jump out of our fishbowl in an attempt to leap into a considerably bigger one !!
And please be understanding towards me - I am going to be  working on this in a modest and probably timid way. I am no Maths teacher, never have been nor ever will be. If I make mistakes, please feel free to correct me, but please do it in a positive and encouraging way !! :)

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