As I look at the choices on offer at the supermarket or whether it is worthwhile taking up monthly membership of the local swimming pool I am reminded how much numeracy plays a part in our everyday lives. Do I choose 4 tins of soup for £3 or 3 tins of soup for £2? A single visit to the swimming pool costs me £1.80 and a monthly subscription costs me £10. ‘How many times a week must I go to make a monthly subscription worthwhile?’ In so many areas of our lives it pays for us to develop our numeracy skills.
We might ask if it too late to top up our numeracy skills? Many U3A members are finding the answer to that is no, it is not too late, as they enjoy developing their skills through membership of one of the U3A Mathematics and Statistics groups.
Many of us play a role as informal teachers of our grandchildren helping them to gain a better sense of number. In my local Maths for Fun group, members are often delighted when something they learn can be shared with their grandchildren. The way children are taught has developed over the years, meanwhile our mathematics skills have become a little rusty. Grandchildren talk with us about using the grid method to multiply numbers and the bar model to solve problems; what are they?
When a person tells us of their difficulty with reading or writing they may do so in hushed tones, but sadly in the case of numeracy people can regard it as a badge of honour to say ‘I never could do maths!’ May 16th is ‘National Numeracy Day’, a day to celebrate the power of numeracy and for us to think about refreshing our numeracy skills for the sake not only of ourselves but for those around us.
National Numeracy Day is run by the UK charity National Numeracy and their website offers the opportunity to check out our numeracy skills using the online assessment tool and to find out our ‘Number Personality’. The website has a range of fun and free resources to help improve number skills.
National Numeracy Day takes place on Wednesday 16th May 2018 and is a celebration of the importance of numbers in everyday life.
Find out more from David on the U3A website.