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Using the Tangible to Aid Numeracy Learning

March 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 184

For a lot of us as adults we find the tangible a lot easier to understand and contemplate than the abstract. This is the same for children and is particularly important in the area of numeracy, which can often have a very prevalent abstract focus.

A lot of what we learn or teach in numeracy makes little, or no sense until it is something that can be seen, or touched and related to the real world. This is why the addition of tangible items to numeracy lessons can really scaffold learning.


A highly fundamental area of numeracy which children learn early on are shapes. Using tangible models of shapes is one of the key ways in which children learn to categorise certain shapes. Items such as replicas of shapes as well as puzzles are tactile aids for children in understanding what shape is what.


One of the most common areas where the use of the tangible is an essential is time. Time, even for adults and scientists is an abstract notion, so obviously for children can be very hard to understand.

The use of early learning resources is something that can really show a child what we mean when we talk about time, and also obviously aids them in telling the time. Items such as sand timers and stopwatches with their digital second screen give children a necessary grasp of what time is. Of course, the humble demonstration clock is a necessity for aiding children in understanding the concept of time telling and though elementary is essential.


Money of course is another abstract concept in many ways. Trying to teach children about money and the value of coins relative to other coins is something best done in a tangible manner. Recognition of coins requires a tactile experience with replicas of the certain coin, or note. Replica money aids this learning and playing shop with this money aids the understanding of value, as well as the addition and subtraction necessary to understand how transactions work.

This aspect may also involve the use of items, such as models of fruit and vegetables and foods, which are then exchanged for money in the transaction. This is essentially a fun aspect, which can be incorporated into play.

Other items such as money snap, or games which involve shop play can decrease the level of the tangible and increase the abstract, which is something children also need to learn.

Without such resources, the aforementioned topics among others would be a lot harder for children to grasp and adults to teach.

Writing about numeracy teaching resources, Paul aims to provide readers with informative knowledge into his experiences and knowledge gained within this area and offers readers the chance to view a website he has experienced positively. View numeracy teaching resources today.

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