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VINE VOICEon 18 June 2012
My little one uses Numicon at school. After borrowing this set from a friend, we found it so indispensable I invested in our own set. This Firm Foundations One to One Kit has the following:

A much needed sturdy plastic red box with clear lid to keep the whole set in prime condition when not in use. Separate clear plastic lable cover for the width end of tray. Unfortunately four fiddly separate clasps keep the lid in place, a ridiculous design as loosing one clasp renders the lid loose! Box approx Length 42.5 cm X Width 31 cm.

X 1 Teacher's guide. A four ring sturdy binder with opaque cover which has the following information...

Getting Started with Numicon Firm Foundations Kit- a brief outline of contents.

Chapter 1. Teaching Guide: A separate booklet in it's own right with contents:-
Introducing Numicon-explaining concept image.
Key Mathematical Ideas.
Creating a Number Rich Environment-Giving Number A High Visual Profile.
The Numicon Foundation Firm Activities.
Teaching Approaches and Developing Mathematical Language.
Planning, Assessment and Training.

Chapter 2. Activity Cards: Briefly comprising...*Counting *Getting to Know the Numicon Shapes *Learning To Put The Numicon Shapes In Order *Getting To Know The Numicon Shapes And Patterns *Giving The Shapes Their Number Names *Knowing The Number Names Of The Numicon Shapes *Ordering The Shapes And Numerals *Knowing The Shapes And Numerals *Using The Numicon Patterns *Addition *Subtraction *Reasoning About Numbers *Reasoning About Numbers And Numicon Shapes.

Chapter 3.Assessment Tools:
*Planning and Assessment-Links to Mathematical Development in the Early Years Foundation Stage *Numicon Firm Foundations Record Of Progress...

Chapter 4.Photocopy Masters:
*Number Track for Counting ( 1 -10 ) *Spinner Overlays * Numeral Cards 0 - 10 *Plasticine Masters 1-5 *Plasticine Masters 6-10 *1-9 Grid *Lined blank notes page.

X 80 Numicon Shapes of robust plastic, inside a sturdy black plastic box with clear press on lid containing: Orange 1 hole X 10, Lilac 2 hole X 10, Yellow 3 hole X 10, Mint Green 4 hole X 10, Red 5 hole X 10, Jade 6 hole X 5, Pink 7 hole X 5, Green 8 hole X 5, Purple 9 hole X 5, Blue 10 hole X 10. Size approx Smallest One hole 2.5 cm X 2.5 cm, Largest Ten hole 12.5 cm X 5 cm. ( A box of 80 Numicon Shapes is also available separately in all black ).

X 80 Numicon Chunky Pegs in a plastic bag. Pegs sturdy plastic approx Height just over 2.5 cm, Diameter 2 cm. 20 X Yellow, 20 X Red, 20 X Green, 20 X Blue. ( A bag of Numicon Chunky Pegs is also available separately as 40 White and 40 Black ).

X 1 Numicon Feely cloth drawstring bag approx Height 32.5 cm X Width 24 cm.

X 2 Blue plastic spinners ready assembled, bases approx 9 cm X 9 cm. Each have a ridge and cut out piece on opposite ends so they can connect together, more could be added.

X 2 Sturdy white plastic base boards with 100 integral raised pegs on each. Approx 26.5 cm X 26.5 cm.

X 2 packs of 6 double sided Base Board Picture and Numicon Shape Overlays. Very flimsy and easily damaged. Feel and thickness of paper with low microgram matt laminate.

X 1 Large Format Table Top Number Line. Thin card with a matt finish: Folded approx Length 20.5 cm X Height 10.5 cm. Unfolded approx Length 81 cm. Number line on a white background with Numicon Shape/Numeral/Word from Zero - 21. Reverse side just plain blue, a waisted opportunity.

Every component of this set can be purchased separately. I found buying as a set to be more cost effective. There are other sets available eg. Nursery, year 1 and upwards plus add on smaller sets and other individual items.

As advised by Numicon I am giving the opportunity for an abundance of free play. Through play I see natural exploration and reinforcement of already acquired number knowledge. Numicon is meant to be a sound reinforcement of the number concept and not to be a sole numeracy learning aide. The main Numicon shapes lend themselves beautifully to sand and water play, glitter, dough, snow foam... They become ingredients to cook with making ideal biscuits, slices of cheese etc for a sandwich. The pegs are used too but we avoid the dough as that's rather time consuming to remove from inside. Both shapes and pegs are brilliant for weighing, measuring etc...In fact the only real limitation is imagination!

We find Numicon to be a superb 'broadening of number reality'. Numicon offers number clarity and learning support enjoyed along side other teaching aides and real life hands on numeracy experiences. Numicon has proved to be the mortar between the bricks of our number foundation. This really helps make sense of the abstract.
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