Numeracy is the ability, confidence and willingness to engage with quantitative or spatial information to make informed decisions in all aspects of daily living (Alberta Education). Numeracy is foundational to student success in education. Aspen View Public Schools promotes an approach of gradual release from concrete to visual to symbolic representations with numeracy and mathematics. This means that students engage with mathematical concepts using manipulatives such as blocks, interlocking cubes, and counters, before moving to representing their ideas with drawings and then numerical symbols. This gradual release is fundamental to teaching for understanding, rather than relying on and prioritizing rote memorization and procedure in mathematics. 

An important part of instruction in numeracy and mathematics is for students to have the opportunity to communicate their thinking in a variety of ways. Communication includes verbally, with pictures and with symbols. Number talks are a common strategy that teachers will use to allow their students to talk about their mathematical understandings. Often, there are many ways to approach a problem or an idea, and students need to be able to hear from each other in order to learn and grow. 

Parents play an important role in supporting their child’s developing understandings in numeracy and mathematics. Listed below are a number of games and activities that parents can use to create opportunities to notice and talk about mathematical concepts. Remember, numeracy is not just about knowing basic math facts. It has more to do with understanding numbers, being able to play with numbers, and thinking spatially. 

  • Play games that deal with logic, reasoning, estimation, direction, classification and time such as Memory, Chess, Checkers, word puzzles, dice games, etc.

  • Talk about numbers and the different ways to “make” a number (Eg. “How many ways can you make 12?”)

  • Go for a numeracy walk. Collect leaves, stones, pinecones, etc. Sort them, count them and make patterns with them. Encourage your child to explain what they notice. 

  • Make familiar objects available for your child to explore (e.g. toys, blocks, buttons, measuring devices). 

  • Provide materials such as pencils, paper, scissors, paint, chalk and glue for creative play. 

  • Set up a play store with objects for sale. 

  • Read books together and talk about the ideas related to numeracy including number, time and location. 

  • Cook together and include measuring ingredients. Try doubling or halving recipes. Figure out how much to make for a certain number of people. 

  • Plan a trip to a park, zoo or swimming pool. Talk about travel routes, time and money while planning. 

  • Go on a treasure hunt. Draw a map. Use directional clues such as over, under, above, below, next to and beside. 

  • Notice patterns in nature, such as with flowers, snowflakes, etc.

(Adapted from Edmonton Public School Division’s Elementary Numeracy Tips)


Aspen View Public Schools annually benchmarks students in Grades 1-9 in the Fall. The purpose of these assessments is to determine the needs of the students and to program accordingly. Aspen View uses a number of resources to support learning in Math. These include Pearson’s Mathology/Mathologie, JUMP Math, Mathletics and Building Fact Fluency kits. 

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