NumberSense FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

We do not supply supplementary worksheets for our workbooks. The workbooks were designed to cover a page a day, a book a term. This means that you have 192 worksheets (pages) available to you for the year! We have, however, developed supplementary worksheets for Workbook 1, as many of the teachers felt that the workbook moved too quickly. For your support, we have developed User Guides (see User Support tab/Workbook Notes) for each of our workbooks and hope that the guidance these give will assist you in unpacking the pages to enable both remediation and extension.

Please contact for further assistance.

Please see the discussion on choosing a book for your child.

The NumberSense Mathematics Programme has been developed to support children’s development of a robust sense of number and a deep understanding of mathematics. In order to make mathematics a meaningful, sense-making activity, the workbooks provide problems for the children that reveal what we want children to notice or learn.

It is therefore beneficial that a teacher, parent, facilitator, tutor or any user of the programme has an understanding of the philosophy behind the books. The books should not be taught, but rather worked through and patterns and strategies discussed. In order to support this philosophy we provide the following support materials and activities:


In all applications, the programme allows for differentiated learning support, independent engagement by children and the opportunity to experience mathematics as a meaningful, sense-making activity. Teachers (and parents) play an important role in the success of the programme. Not only is there a need to ensure that children are working in the most appropriate workbook but teachers also need to monitor children’s progress for the identification of problems, misunderstanding and necessary interventions. Furthermore, it is critical that teachers (and parents) discuss the activities with the children. Ask the children to explain their answers, to describe any patterns they may have observed and invite them to ask questions. This contributes to their development of a strong sense of number.

 See “How to use” for guidance and sample pages to get you started.

Please contact 021 706 3777 or mail for further assistance.

Although teacher guides are available for the workbooks in the programme, we have not published a full answer set.

We realise that teachers would really like us to publish the answers and although we have developed an answer set so that we can be sure that the workbooks are sound, there is an explanation for not publishing them. The reason for not publishing the answers is because the NumberSense Mathematics Programme is about so much more than the answers.

The programme aims to develop understanding, reasoning and application in addition to calculating skills. The success of the workbooks lies, therefore, in the engagement of the teacher with the child. In order for children to gain optimal benefit from the workbook, it is critical that they are encouraged to reflect on the tasks that they complete. Teachers (and parents) should ask questions such as:

  • Did you notice anything as you completed those activities?
  • What helped you to answer the question?
  • How is this activity similar to, or different from, activities that you have already completed?

Our experience is that children benefit most when the teacher does the page themselves before the lesson.  In so doing, the teacher gets a better sense of the purpose of the page and an understanding of what the page is seeking to develop.  Again, our experience is that as teachers do more and more of the programme themselves, they gain a greater insight into the workbooks, insight into their own understanding of mathematics and of what it means to do mathematics.  One strategy adopted by some schools is to share the books out between the teachers of the grade and have each one develop an answer set for one book. This can be a good, practical solution.

We hope that you will appreciate our motivation for not publishing the answers. Deep down we are sincerely committed to improving the mathematical experiences of children. This involves helping teachers to develop a more robust sense of the mathematics that they are teaching.

Please note that our staff is happy to help you if and whenever you need us to do so – simply send an email to and we will answer your questions as soon as we can!  

The NumberSense Mathematics Programme is aligned with the South African mathematics curriculum. That said, the way in which topics are addressed does not always coincide with the sequence of the current CAPS document. Concepts in the NumberSense and Companion Workbooks follow a developmental trajectory and are visited and revisited on a regular basis. With the completion of each workbook, a child 'covers the curriculum' and by completing the workbooks intended for each year the child does so several times

The NumberSense Workbooks cover Numbers, Operations and Relationships as well as Patterns, Functions and Algebra. The Companion Workbooks cover Space and Shape (Geometry) and Measurement and Data Handling. In the Foundation Phase, these concepts are developed through activities and are not worksheet–based. So the Companion Workbook for the Foundation Phase is in the form of a Teacher Guide of activities which we believe will reveal the concepts and mathematics that we want the children to learn.


For a more detailed breakdown of the curriculum topics presented in the NumberSense Workbook Series, click on the links below to open a PDF document with this information:

The NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series have been created to support children’s development of a robust sense of number and deep understanding of mathematics. The series is responsive to the developmental needs of children, is informed by current research on how children learn mathematics and provide a comprehensive mathematics solution for Grades R to 7.

In the early workbooks, the development of number sense starts with foundational concepts and understandings in a low number range. As children progress through the series they are supported and encouraged to develop increasingly sophisticated strategies and a deeper understanding of higher number ranges. The NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series provide regular (daily) practice. Children should (if they are working in the correct book) be able to work independently from one page to the next, asking for help and guidance if needed. The richly-illustrated and engaging workbooks are used in a wide range of different ways.

With the publication of the NumberSense Companion Workbooks, we complete the mathematics curriculum coverage for Grades 4 to 7. It is our hope that the NumberSense Companion Workbooks will provide children with the same challenges and enjoyment that they get from the NumberSense Workbooks and that it helps them to experience mathematics as a meaningful, sense-making, problem-solving activity.

Teacher Guides for the NumberSense Workbooks 1-24 and Companion Workbooks Grade R-7 are available for download at the Workbook Notes heading under the User Support tab.

The Workbooks present a tension – on the one hand we are trying to provide a fair amount of daily practice/consolidation/reinforcement opportunities for children, while on the other hand, we do not want to “kill” teachers.  Our sense is that, in general, children do too little constructive mathematics practice per day.  In some cases we find teachers limiting the amount of work they set children each day in an effort to manage their own marking loads and stresses.  However, this has disastrous implications for children.

With marking a class' work we suggest that this should/could be done on an impression basis.  Look at the page and make one of three decisions:

1. The child is getting most or all of the work right:

  • Circle any glaring errors, initial the page and put the book on the “no problems” pile.

2. The child is making a number of consistent errors across the pages:

  • Circle question(s) that the child should redo, initial the page and put the book on the “must talk with these children” pile.
  • When next you get a chance you call this group of children together and talk about the typical errors that they are making.

3. The child is making a hash of things:

  • Initial the page and put the book on the “must assign an easier book” pile.
  • Assign these children an easier book that best suits their developmental state.

We accept orders of any size. You can order one book if you wish.
Our delivery turn-around time is 3-4 working days after confirmation of your order.

Yes. We make our NumberSense projection CD available to schools that use the NumberSense Mathematics Programme at a nominal charge.

The CD has copies of the workbooks that the school has ordered in a format that allows teachers to project the workbooks onto a screen using a computer and data projector or smart board. This format enables the projection of the page or exercise that the class is busy with. Currently, the CDs contain the English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Setswana and Sesotho versions of the workbooks 00-24 as well as the Companion Workbooks Grade 4-7, in English and Afrikaans.

Each CD comes with software that enables you to open the files. You need to install the latest version of CopySafe before you can open the files. If you have noticed that last year’s CD won’t play anymore, it is because the contents of each CD expire at the end of December. We update our CDs each year. Please contact us if you would like to purchase a CD. One CD is sufficient for an entire school as the information may be shared within a school computer network.

The NumberSense Mathematics Programme is available in app format for both Android and Apple devices. Without losing any of the rich pedagogical approaches that underpin the success of the paper version, the mobile version provides a range of additional benefits:

  • Marking is automatic, providing children with instant feedback.
  • Teachers and parents receive instantly accessible reports on the progress of children. Detailed (curriculum-linked) feedback and analysis allow for remediation as and where required.

To explore the NumberSense App complete the steps on the website under the App tab.

The NumberSense Mathematics Programme offers the following products:

  • NumberSense Workbooks 00-24 (Grade R - 7)
  • NumberSense Companion Workbooks (Grade 4 - 7)
  • NumberSense Companion Teacher Guides (Gr R - 3)
  • NumberSense Companion Activity Kit and resources
  • A NumberSense Projection CD which has all the NumberSense Workbooks in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Setswana and Sesotho, as well as the Companion Workbooks Gr 4-7 in English and Afrikaans
  • Flard Cards
  • GeoGenius Construction Kit and GeoGenius Visualisation Kit 
  • NumberSense Number line
  • NumberSense App (Android and Apple)

Please call the office 021 706 3777 or email to find out more.

We want children to treat the hands and fingers situations as follows:

  • All hands have five fingers. This is true even if a hand’s fingers are folded over.
  • For example, if there are 12 hands then there are 60 fingers - whether the fingers are upright or not, they are still part of the hand. 
  • The reason for including activities that involve counting fingers is that we are trying to encourage children to see the efficiency of counting in fives. Fingers provide a natural collection of five.

We want children to treat the eyes and faces situations as follows:

  • All faces have two eyes. This is true even if an eye is not visible because it is covered by hair.
  • The reason for including activities that involve counting eyes is that we are trying to encourage children to see the efficiency of counting in twos.
  • Eyes provide a natural collection of two.