TEACH: Numeracy resources – Hundreds grid

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This is a blank Hundreds Grid. Again, it’s a resource that would lend itself to a wide range of numeracy activities.

Here are some ideas for activities using the Hundreds Grid. You could use it for:

  • Developing a visual understanding of basic fractions including half, quarters and three-quarters.
  • Developing an understanding of the link from basic fractions to more complex fractions and percentages.
  • Developing an understanding of decimal numbers and how they relate to percentages and fractions.

How else could you use or build from this resource?

TEACH: Numeracy resources – Place Value Chart

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This is a blank place value chart that you can print and use for a wide range of different activities. We think that you should really have a giant one of these across the top of your whiteboard. But this is a handy size that you can print and use with learners anywhere and anytime.

Here are some ideas of activities developing or practising place value. Use the place value chart for:

  • Showing how the place of the number determines its value.
  • Any calculations, but especially involving big numbers or really small numbers including decimals.
  • Showing how numbers shift left or right depending on whether they are multiplied or divided by 10, 100, 1000
  • Doing conversions within a system, such as from millimetres to metres for metric measurement.

You can refer back to the example we used earlier for planning a numeracy activity. This used a place value chart. Also, you can refer to any of the place value activities in the Learning Progressions. This resource would work with any and all of them.

How else could you use or build from this resource?

TEACH: Literacy Resources – Types of questions you can ask for reading comprehension activities

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This is a set of different kinds of questions for creating reading comprehension activities. You can use this as your own resource for developing different kinds of questions for any text that your learners need to read and understand.

Here are some ideas for different reading comprehension activities that you could develop depending on your learning outcome.

Use the list of question types to help you write reading comprehension questions that ask your learners to:

  • Identify something. E.g. “What year was the company started?”, “Which person has only one item of the list?”.
  • Fill in a gap or complete a sentence. E.g. ““New graduates must…”, “The aim of the study was too…”, “The purpose of this notice is to…”
  • Choose from multiple choice answers. E.g. Choose from one of four possible answers.
  • Choose from a forced choice. E.g. Choose whether something is true or false, correct or incorrect, or answer yes or no.
  • Underline or circle something in the text they are reading.

And then if you want to use the same list of question types to push yourself and your learners, you’ll need to distinguish between the following kinds of questions:

  • Inferencing required to answer. This means “reading between the lines” a little.
  • The answer stated explicitly. No inferencing required.

Inferencing is what you do when you can’t get the answer directly from the text. You have to “read between the lines” to get the answer or draw your conclusion. In other words, you have to infer an answer when understanding something that is not stated explicitly in the text.

Learners who can answer inferencing questions are usually at or above step 5 in the Learning Progressions for comprehension and reading critically. This is also often the way to tell who is a good reader and who is not.

When you’re designing a sequence of activities, you can consider how you want to make them easier or harder by using (or not using) inferencing questions.

How else could you use or build from this resource?


TEACH: Literacy resources – Word and definition matching cards

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Word and definition matching cards

These are cards for matching up terms and definitions. Use the template for your own purposes by adding words from your programme (e.g. technical jargon or high-frequency words) on one side, and plain English explanations on the other side.

Here are some ideas for different activities that you could develop depending on your learning outcome:

  • Match up the words with the definitions. This activity changes depending on whether a learner did the match-up on their own, with a partner, in a small group or as part of a whole class discussion activity.
  • Use the cards to play a memory game in which all of the cards are laid face down on the table and two cards are flipped face up in each turn. The object of the game is to make matching pairs. Again, learners can play this alone (like Solitaire), or in pairs or groups depending on the number of cards and the level of difficulty.
  • Create a third set of cards with either pictures that explain the words, or an example sentence showing how it’s used in context.
  • Learners use the words and plain-English explanations to create crosswords, word finds and customised glossaries to practice using the words and develop their understanding.

How else could you use or build from this resource?

TEACH: What about resources for embedding literacy and numeracy?

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Depending on what kind of literacy and numeracy activities you are planning, you may need to find, create or adapt some resources. This might include any of the following:

  • Worksheets
  • Handouts
  • Posters or visuals
  • Sets of cards, for example with vocabulary or pictures
  • Games

Another kind of resource includes things that people need to use so they can learn or think while they’re using whatever it is. In maths education, these kinds of resources are called “manipulatives”. These are things that you might need to use or play with while you’re learning or practising concepts.

In maths education, these kinds of resources are called “manipulatives”. These are things that you might need to use or play with while you’re learning or practising something.

For example:

  • Cutting lengths of string for developing an understanding of estimation and measurement.
  • Putting together squares for developing an understanding of area.
  • Stacking up cubes for developing an understanding of volume.
  • Ripping up strips of paper for developing an understanding of fractions.

One of the main things to remember is that whatever your resources are, they need to flow out of your learning outcomes. And these, of course, need to flow out of all of the thinking that sits behind your learning outcomes. This includes knowing the demands of your training and the needs of your learners.

One of the mistakes some tutors make is that someone gives them a resource for literacy and numeracy, but it doesn’t actually flow out of their understanding of what’s needed for their learners and their teaching. They use the resource without thinking about how it really fits with their learners or programme. And this leads to a fragmented approach to embedding literacy and numeracy where it’s “bolted on” rather than “built in”.

We’re going to point you to some examples of different kinds of resources you might want to use or adapt. But first, we need to give you an example of how these get used poorly.

Here’s a common professional development scenario…

You attend a professional development workshop with an expert on literacy or numeracy. It’s fun and exciting. But what you want is activities and resources you can use right now. So the workshop presenter gives you resources and activities which you take back and try to use. Some of them work and some of the don’t. Life carries on as usual.

That’s not what we want here. We want you to see permanent changes to your teaching practice. For this to happen, your own understanding and beliefs need to change.

Any professional development you do now related to literacy and numeracy needs to inform what you already do and know – your growing expertise.

And it needs to fit within the larger framework that we’ve been working with for embedding. This includes the broad content areas for embedding literacy and numeracy that we’ve been discussing.

For example:

  1. CONTEXT: You know what literacy and numeracy are. You should have a good idea now of what kinds of skills and knowledge are already embedded into the content and context that you teach. For any given activity or resource, you should be able to work out if it fits you and your learners.
  2. APPROACHES: You know what teaching approaches and concepts are going to contribute to making this work with your learners. If someone gives you a resource to use, you should trust your judgement as to whether it’s going to feel like it’s “built in” or “bolted on”.
  3. DEMANDS: You have in-depth knowledge of what the literacy and numeracy demands are for your training. If someone gives you a resource to use, even if it seems really interesting, you don’t need to use it if it doesn’t help you target key demands that you’ve already identified.
  4. STRATEGIES: You’ve spent time thinking about what your overall strategies are for embedding literacy and numeracy into your programme. You can use this knowledge to make judgement calls about resources and activities. If they don’t line up with your vision and strategies for embedding, then they don’t fit. Just park them and come back to them later.
  5. BEFORE: You’ve experimented with different kinds of diagnostic assessments. And you’ve mapped your learners. This means that as well as knowing what key demands are for your programme, you know broad and specific needs that your learners have. Let this guide your decisions about which resources are useful. You’re the expert now.

With those thoughts to guide you, we do want to look at some resources. Feel free to adapt them however you like. Or use them as inspiration for your own ideas.

Some of these resources come from graduates of this course. Others come from the Learning Progressions.


TEACH: Planning your teaching sessions (and recording your planning)

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As we’ve discussed before, there are lots of different ways in which you can write up your planning. We have a worksheet that you can download if you want something to use for brainstorming or taking notes on planning your teaching sessions.

Like most of our worksheets, you don’t need to hand this in. It’s just there to help move you forward. Some of us think best when we’re writing. So if it works for you, print it out and make notes.

However, if you know exactly what you are going to plan, you should download the word document for Assessment 6 and just add your planning there. You’ll be able to type it in directly. You can find the assessment task back on the main pathway page for this course.

The headings in the worksheet are the same as the ones in the assessment template. There is no minimum (or maximum) number of activities you need per session. You know your learners. So you know what’s going to be too much or not enough.

We’ve given suggested three activities, but this is just a guide. It’s up to you to tell us what your activities are and how they fit together into your teaching sessions.

Everyone’s situation is different in terms of timeframe, learners and teaching environment. What we want to see… what we’ll be assessing is whether you’ve embedded literacy and numeracy across the three sessions. Just make it explicit and you’ll find it hard to go wrong.

If you have your own format for lesson planning and you want to use it, please let us know. Otherwise, here’s a basic format below for recording your planning. You can download it as a PDF here as well

Session 1/3: Planned literacy and numeracy learning activities

Here’s what I planned for the first session:






After that,


I can collect the following kinds of supporting evidence to verify this:

TEACH: Can I see an example of some planning for numeracy activity?

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Here’s a different scenario and example of some planning for an activity that embeds some numeracy work into a foundation learning course with a focus on building and construction.

First, read through the scenario, learning outcome, and resources. Then have a look at the activity planned at the end.


You teach an entry-level Building and Construction course. Your learners need to work with metric measurement including for lengths of timber. But you also want them to learn to estimate quantities without always relying on the calculator on their phones.

Learning outcome

Based on your mapping, diagnostic assessment and work with these learners you decided on the following as your intended learning outcome for your first attempt at embedding some numeracy into your content:

  • Use strategies (including using a place value chart) to estimate and solve multiplication problems that require multiplying or dividing by 10, 100 and 1000.


You’ve decided to walk them through some examples of how the maths works. You want them to do this mentally, but you decide to use a place value chart as a way of making it explicit to start with.

You will supply them with an example where they have to estimate and then calculate how much timber is needed.

From there, you can get the group to discuss their answers and you can go through and model the process using the place value chart.

After that, the learners can work in pairs and come up with examples for others to estimate and calculate using the same strategy.


Here are the resources that you know you need:

  • Blank place value charts that you can print out or photocopy.


Here’s what your actual planning might look like for the guided teaching and learning sequence:


Activity 1: Using a place value chart to estimate timber quantity

  1. Draw up a place value chart on the whiteboard.
  2. Provide the example: “Let’s say that you need to find out the following: What is the total amount of timber needed for 220 lengths of 87.5m?
  3. Ask the learners to have a guess first, and write this down on a piece of paper.
  4. Compare estimations from around the room with feedback to the board to show the range of answers.
  5. Introduce the place value chart and model the estimation as follows: “Let’s simplify things… “220 lengths of 87.5 is roughly 200 lengths of 90m.”
  6. Say the revised calculation: “We can calculate this quickly as two lengths of 90m times 100.”
  7. Do the first part of the calculation then put this on the chart: “Two lengths of 90m is 180m.”
    • Then to find 100 lengths of 180, shift the 180 two places to the left on the place value chart. This is 18 000m
  8. Extension:
    • Provide other examples. Ask learners to work out the answers in any way they like but without using a calculator at this stage.
    • Compare answers and try working it out on a calculator.