# Secondary Numeracy

### It's about Understanding, Representation and Problem Strings

## Building Powerful Numeracy

*“…when we help students construct numerical relationships, they begin to believe that mathematics is understandable, that it is not all about memorizing abstract , counterintuitive rules, but instead an arena in which they can reason and use their intuitive sense.” Pam Harris, pg xiii*

## Understanding Numeracy

Think about this situation...You are out at a rather nice restaurant for lunch with 11 friends. The check comes and the 12 of you decide to split the bill evenly. The bill is $249. You do a quick mental estimate of a 15% tip, add it on, and round up to $300. Now, how would you do the division to figure out how much each person owes?

Do you perform the standard algorithm? Or, do you play with the numbers?

## Some critical components of numeracy

## Flexibility and EfficiencyStudents need to be able to look at numbers in a problem and consider more than one way to solve. Students need to experience different strategies and problem types so they will know which kinds of problems lend themselves to which strategies...not just the operation. | ## Accuracy and SpeedAccuracy is important, but it is not the only part of numeracy that matters...the emphasis should be on the relationships of the numbers. As teachers we are fast using the algorithms, but using the strategies presented both speed and a greater understanding of the math involved will occur. | ## Algorithms and Mental MathAlgorithms have a place in numeracy, but if algorithms are the only computation strategy, then the "digit approach" may inadvertently affect students' progress in higher math. Mental math does not mean doing it all in your head, but implies that you are using your head to reason. |

## Flexibility and Efficiency

Students need to be able to look at numbers in a problem and consider more than one way to solve. Students need to experience different strategies and problem types so they will know which kinds of problems lend themselves to which strategies...not just the operation.

## Accuracy and Speed

Accuracy is important, but it is not the only part of numeracy that matters...the emphasis should be on the relationships of the numbers. As teachers we are fast using the algorithms, but using the strategies presented both speed and a greater understanding of the math involved will occur.

## Algorithms and Mental Math

Algorithms have a place in numeracy, but if algorithms are the only computation strategy, then the "digit approach" may inadvertently affect students' progress in higher math. Mental math does not mean doing it all in your head, but implies that you are using your head to reason.

## The Importance of Representation...focus on relationships instead of procedures

## Building Number Sense in the Secondary Classroom

CHOICES Castleberry ISD

August 21, 2013

Content on this flyer came from *Building Powerful Numeracy for Middle and High School Students* by Pam Harris