Numeracy 'Count me in'

Count Me In Too (CMIT) was developed to support the teaching of Number for students from Foundation to Year 4.

Although the main focus is on the development of number and counting skills, measurement resources are also available.

CMIT and First Steps in Mathematics complement one another.

CMIT aims to improve student learning outcomes in mathematics through the professional development of their teachers. It does this by increasing teacher awareness of an increasing hierarchy of strategies that students use to solve number problems and how to assist them develop and practice these strategies.

For example, to solve 8 + 4 a student could use:

  • counting all i.e. counting out 8 objects, counting out another 4 and starting from 1 to find the total
  • counting on from 8 i.e. 8 + 4 = 9, 10, 11, 12
  • grouping i.e. 8 + 4 = 8 + 2 +2 (partition 4 into 2 + 2) = 10 + 2 = 12

Counting by ones is a satisfactory strategy for adding small numbers. However, efficient grouping strategies need to be developed to solve problems involving larger numbers. Combining and partitioning refers to the joining and separating of groups. The idea of groups within groups lends itself to emphasizing part-whole relationships i.e. the student sees both the parts and the whole. This is fundamental to place value, multiplication and measurement.

Students learn by doing

An important part of CMIT is allowing time for students to experience practical activities and play games that reinforce the skills and knowledge being taught in class.

Students are introduced to a new concept using concrete materials.

They move to more abstract thinking as their understanding develops e.g. If a student is asked to find out how many apples will be needed if they give 2 apples each to 3 friends. A student in Year 1 may need to act out the scenario. A student in Year 3 may need to use materials to find the total (make 3 groups of 2). A student in Year 5 might use known number facts to solve the problem (3 x 2 = 6).

The CMIT teaching and learning package consists of:

  • Assessment: SENA 1 for Stage 1 (NSW) and SENA 2 for Stage 2 outcomes
  • The Learning Framework is organized into 6 parts. These components describe the key aspects of early number learning. For each component, the framework sets out descriptions of student strategies or knowledge used to solve problems. For a detailed explanation refer to Learning Framework: number overview A and B (p. 6 & 7 handbook)
  • Resources: Developing Efficient Numeracy Strategies (DENS) Stage 1 and Developing Efficient Numeracy Strategies (DENS) Stage 2. The DENS books are sequenced to reflect development from emergent understandings of number through to the efficient use of counting on strategies. Each activity addresses three important questions for teachers i.e. What do my students currently know? What do I want them to know? How will I help them to learn this?

Teachers assess students to find out what they know and can do. They identify the stage each student is currently working at using The Learning Framework. Teachers plan activities that will help their students move forward (the DENS books are a good starting point but other resources maybe used). As the units of work are taught it is important for teachers to keep in mind what they want their students to learn as a result of doing the activities. Teachers also need to monitor student progress during the teaching/learning stage.

More information about CMIT can be found from the web site: http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/primary/mathematics/countmeintoo/index.htm