Numeracy Connections and Inquiry

Math is connected to everything in our world and to all areas of the school curriculum. Exploring how math helps us navigate, communicate, understand and change our lives and our world is a powerful way to support children in building connections and joy around math. Through inquiry and discussion, parents, educators and other caregivers can guide children away from the damaging and isolating myth that computational speed and accuracy are the most valuable skills in math. Through stories, the arts and play, we allow space for the deepening of connections and the development of passions.

In order to make inquiry effective it is important to:

  • ask good questions as students are exploring and researching
  • take opportunities to consolidate learning together both during and after the inquiry
  • allow students space to reflect on their learning, revise and revisit their learning and build on their inquiries over time

Below are some resources that you may find helpful in building and engaging in the inquiry process with your students/children.

TEACHERS, PARENTS AND OTHER CAREGIVERS: These resources are designed to facilitate you in cultivating curiosity and designing various types of inquiry experiences for your learners. Be sure to carefully screen all materials for age appropriateness and conformation to your district’s regulatory screening processes (curriculum, privacy, ect.).

STUDENTS: Although some of these resources will be appropriate for your curiosity and learning, they have been placed here for use by adults. Please check with an adult before accessing or signing up for any resource listed on this page or on the website in general.

This link takes you to Curriculum Associates downloadable infographic of the questions written by Ready Mathematics’ Dr. Gladis Kersaint. These questions are designed to prompt, nudge and support student thinking and communication as they engage in Mathematical explorations and learning.

Ian Byrd dedicates his website to supporting Gifted learners. His materials and information, however, support differentiation for ALL learners. Signing up for the weekly Puzzlements email is a great way to get a weekly dose of curiosity and wonder into your classroom. His website is a trove of resources for understanding the Gifted profile, Differentiation (for all) and encouraging learning through curiosity (I recommend going to the site and typing “curiosity” into his search bar to start).

Janice Novakowski is a curriculum coordinator in Richmond, British Columbia. In these links and documents you will find information on designing Provocations and other types of inquiry for students. Her math and science blog also contain large amounts of information on play-based learning, continuity of learning and essential learnings in numeracy. Her blogs are great resources for educators interested in the Reggio Inspired approach to learning from Kindergarten through grade 7 (and beyond).

Wonderopolis is a website dedicated to the collection and support of wonderings and curiosity. It is a good place to start, as there are many interesting questions and associated resources found there.

Teach Thought is a site for educators wanting to learn more about, well, teaching for critical and creative thinking. The button above will take you to their Inquiry page. Under the Sort tab, you will find drop down menus of many other topics, including Project Based Learning (PBL) and Growth Mindset.

Yummy Math is a great place to find Math Activities and information that connect Mathematical problem solving to real life. You can use the keyword search to find activities/info that relate to your area of inquiry.

Although this site is aligned to UK curriculum, it is a great resource for ideas across the STEM subjects.

NRich is a great site for finding rich tasks, games, puzzles and information on a variety of topics that can be used to infuse variety and math specific content into your inquiry.

Although most of the content on this website requires a subscription, it is a source of some free materials to support the development of Critical Thinking and Inquiry skills, both for parents and teachers.

Numberphile producer Brady Haran, with the support of the Mathematical Sciences Research institute creates videos of mathematicians explaining all sorts of mathematical ideas. From different number systems to historical mathematics to modern breakthroughs it is a great source for Numeracy information ranging from silly to incomprehensibly complex.