As a country we are facing numerous challenges, not least of which is the current coronavirus outbreak. Understandably, and thankfully, the President has declared a national state of disaster and has closed schools for the foreseeable future. Without the effective implementation of social distancing and other related measures we would be at far greater risk as a nation. As we fight to manage and reduce the impact of the coronavirus, we cannot, however, lose sight of our struggle to also improve the learning of mathematics which is so incredibly vital to economic growth and opportunities.
Against this background we have, at NumberSense, reflected on how we can support schools and students as they deal with the anticipated reduction in teaching time and in particular reduced time spent on developing foundational skills in mathematics. The purpose of this article is to inform you of two ways in which we hope to provide support.
Provision of NumberSense solution sets
From the outset, we have resisted making the solutions to the NumberSense workbooks available to teachers and schools. This stance has been informed by the belief that teachers (and parents) will benefit from developing their own solution sets. It is my belief, that teachers (and parents), in developing their own solution sets, will be forced to reflect on the underlying patterns and mathematical structure that the workbook activities are seeking to develop.
Aware that schools will, over the upcoming and foreseeable number of weeks, if not months, be working with their students from a distance we have decided to soften our stance in this regard.
To assist schools, as they provide the necessary remote support to their students with the activities on the pages of the workbooks we will be making available to schools the answers to the activities in a format that will enable schools to communicate these to their students through a range of electronic formats.
We anticipate having the solution sets to the NumberSense Workbooks 1 to 14 (the solution sets for workbook 15 to 24 will follow) available by 30 March 2020 and encourage schools to request these by writing an email to info@NumberSense.co.za. In your email please indicate (a) the workbooks for which you are requesting the solution sets; and (b) provide an undertaking that you will only use these solution sets during this time of need and that you will not distribute the solution sets indiscriminately to all your students. On receipt of your email we will send you the requested solution sets.
Discounted access to the NumberSense App
For the last five years we have been developing an App version of the NumberSense workbooks. Progress has been slow but exciting and we are now in a position to provide access to NumberSense Workbooks 2 to 11 though the App.
The App (best used on a device with a 7-inch [or larger] screen) has a number of exciting features that include:
- Instant feedback to the student on their responses;
- Feedback to teachers/parents, through a dashboard, on their student’s performance on each activity on each page of each workbook; and
- The ability of teachers/parents to set individual, student by student, quality gates for their student(s). In particular, teachers/parents can determine:
- The proportion of responses that a student must submit for each activity before they are able to check their answers; and
- The proportion of correct responses that a student must achieve on an activity before they can progress to the next activity.
Acknowledging that the NumberSense App version of the workbooks is still in the final stages of development and testing, we are confident in its capability of providing reliable daily practice for students in a digital environment. In the spirit of supporting schools and families to provide independent daily practice on foundational mathematics skills to their students, we will be making the App versions of workbooks 2 to 11 (more to follow as they are finalised) available at a nominal fee until schools re-open. The normal price of an App version of a workbook is R53 (VAT incl.). For the period during which schools are closed on account of the coronavirus will provide access to the workbooks at a nominal rate of R15 (VAT incl.) per workbook.
For individual (single child) purchases of the App please visit the Mobile App tab for instructions on how to access and use the app and the Shop/Mobile App to purchase workbook licences and gain access to the parent supervision dashboard.
For school (whole class) purchases of the App please visit the Mobile App tab for instructions on how to access and use the app and please write to info@NumberSense.co.za for a spreadsheet that must be completed with the all of the students’ grade, class and workbook requirements so that we can provide you with each student’s login details and provide teachers with access to the dashboard(s) for their class(es).
If there is anything else that we can do to provide support to you during this time, please do not hesitate to write to us at info@NumberSense.co.za or to Aarnout Brombacher directly at email@example.com.
As we navigate this difficult time we want to urge you to take social distancing and personal hygiene very seriously so that we can, as a nation, beat this pandemic.