Demands: Understanding what the numeracy progressions are…

Knowing the demands (11)

What are the big picture numeracy demands?

By identifying the most important literacy progressions for your own teaching situation, you’ve started to map the big picture demands. Now we need to do the same thing for numeracy.

By the end of this module, you should have some ideas about:

  • Which numeracy strands are relevant for your teaching.
  • Which progressions from these strands are relevant.

As with literacy, not everything here is going to be relevant. And as with literacy, we need to make sure that you:

  1. Understand what each numeracy progression is in plain English.
  2. Can eliminate any progressions that are not relevant.
  3. Identify which numeracy progressions are important for your teaching and programme and know why.

And just like with the literacy demands, we have a task for you to work on that will help you focus on the key numeracy demands for your programme.

Understanding what the numeracy progressions are

The numeracy progressions don’t repeat themselves like the literacy progressions. Instead, there is a distinct set of progressions for each numeracy strand.

You can probably guess many of them, but here are some plain English explanations.

Make Sense of Number to Solve Problems

Additive Strategies

  • Using + and – to solve problems

Multiplicative Strategies

  • Using x and ÷ to solve problems

Proportional Reasoning

  • Using fractions, decimals, %, proportions, ratios, rates to solve problems

Number Sequence

  • Knowing the sequence of numbers forwards and backwards. Includes integers, fractions, decimals, %

Place Value

  • Knowing the place and value of numbers. Includes tens, hundreds, thousands, fractions and decimals adding up to 1. Ordering and converting between fractions, decimals, %.

Number Facts

  • Knowing +, -, x and ÷ facts from memory. Also knowing fraction, decimal, and % facts.

Reason Statistically

Preparing Data

  • Sorting, organising, and representing data for analysis.

Analysing Data

  • Describing and comparing data for interpretation.

Interpreting Data

  • Interpreting and discussing data to predict and conclude


  • Knowing about chance, likelihood, and possible outcomes.

Measure and interpret shape and space

Shapes & Transformations

  • Describing and working with shapes. Includes shapes of two or three dimensions.


  • Working with movement, distance, direction, bearings, grid references, maps, scales.


  • Comparing, ordering and measuring things. Includes using the right tools, systems, formulas, estimates and conversions.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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