by Shaun Milne
A NEW website aimed specifically at helping adults and children with learning numeracy skills launched in Scotland yesterday (mon).
Harnessing video to show clips of techniques in actions, it also provides a ranage of support materials available online including 165 movie clips and some 700 practice sheets.
Developed in Scotland the business – Maths on Track – charges from £10 for access.
But those behind the venture say it has been proven to help those learning how to use numbers.
The site also has nearly 5,000 mental agility flash cards from the Wee Red Box (so called because the original was a red shoe box) that it is claimed can improve fluency in key mental agility skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and percentages.
Those behind the site say verything on it – suitable for both school and home use – has been tailored to support the new Curriculum for Excellence for the primary stages up to S3.
Site creator Tom Renwick, a former maths adviser, said: “I want as many kids as possible to be as good as they can be at maths and numeracy.”
“Being good at numeracy means being good at maths and now, for the first time, parents and their children have direct access to successful visual numeracy techniques that I’ve been asked to share in so many classrooms with teachers and their pupils.”
Tom said these ‘old fashioned’ techniques are so effective he’s been asked to demonstrate them with a P5 class to be transmitted ‘live’ over the Glow intranet for many teachers and pupils to watch across Scotland on November 16.
The website also enables parents to seek advice on behalf of their children or any aspect of maths.
Tom, who changed career from Civil Engineering to teaching in 1977, became a Principal Teacher and then an Adviser for Mathematics with a local authority, and more recently was the on-line ‘virtual adviser’ for maths with Learning and Teaching Scotland.
Education consultant, Heather Reid – former BBC Scotland’s “Heather The Weather” – was among those to endorse the site.
She said: “As a scientist, I fully appreciate the importance of good numeracy skills. This website provides an extensive range of numeracy supports with many downloadable for use by teachers in schools and parents at home with children.
“Like Tom, I believe that to be good at maths you need to be good with numbers – and that’s why I believe this website is so important.”
The site can be viewed at: http://www.mathsontrack.com