# Number Facts (A review)

Last Monday, I attended the EDCO Primary Publications event in the Clayton Hotel. I attend at least one of these events each year as I like to hear about the new programmes/resources that are available to teachers and I love getting free things! One new publication that caught my eye was the Number Facts series so I was delighted to get a free sample of each book and the teachers book for 3rd and 4th too. The speaker – author Claire Corroon spoke expertly about the series and I was very impressed with her presentation on Number Facts and the approach to teaching tables/number facts in the classroom. (Claire is also the co -author of the series Operation Maths – the number facts series complement the Operation Maths series but can also be used in conjunction with any other Maths programme.)

## Layout

The books are available from 1st to 4th class. (Personally I’d love one for 5th and 6th too!)

The first and second class books deal mainly with addition and subtraction, number bonds, halves, doubles, near doubles and in between doubles.

The third and fourth class books include addition, subtraction, doubles, near doubles and in between doubles and also introduce multiplication and division.

There is a double page for each week – Monday to Thursday. Each day is divided into 3 parts – 2 main parts and a ‘challenge’ section which is great for differentiation and a challenge for the more well able children.

The activities can be completed daily in class and for homework.

There is a revision section at the back of each book along with an assessment section too. There is a personal progress chart for children to track their results.

Finally there is a section with family card games at the back of each book – this is useful for families to focus on a particular strategy and use it in a fun way!

Finally there is a useful addition square/hundred square (1st and 2nd) and 100 Dots Grid/Multiplication Square (3rd and 4th class).

## CPA Approach

The book (along with Operation Maths) uses the Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract approach (CPA). It is advised that the concrete activities are completed in class a week or so prior to the children starting a new unit in the book – therefore the activities in the book serve as consolidation. The books regularly prompt children to ‘use objects’ – crayons, markers, pencils, coins, counters etc. Following on from this, the concept is covered pictorially and then an abstract approach is used too.

## Thinking strategies

There is an introductory page at the beginning of each book called ‘Thinking Strategies’. This page is an introduction for teachers and parents/guardians. It shares some of the strategies that children can use to solve the number facts each week. There can often be many different ways to think about the same fact so children should be encouraged to identify alternative approaches and to choose their preferred strategy.

## Teacher’s Resource Book

There is a teachers book for 1st and 2nd class and another for 3rd and 4th class. The book goes through the number facts approach, the thinking strategies, structure of the books, along with a long term plan overview, maths content objectives and answers for each question in the books. Finally there are some useful photocopiable masters at the back of the book.

## Cost

The books are €5.70 each and available from Edco here.

## What I like

Challenge section – this goes beyond the traditional limits and encourages the children to use the skills they have learned to solve more difficult problems.

Think boxes– for each unit there are a number of ‘think boxes’ which are really helped. They offer quick hints so the children can solve the problems independently and become more skilful at manipulating numbers – enhancing their mental calculation and problem solving skills.

Layout – I like that the book has one unit per week with a good range of activities for each day – meaning there is enough for class work and also for homework along with the challenge section to push the high achievers.

Family card games – great way to get the whole family involved in a fun way!

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