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Numicon and Special iApps

Use Numicon with Special Words Plus and Special Stories Plus

What is Numicon?

Numicon, developed by Oxford University Press, is a recognised evidenced-based approach to teaching maths that helps children to see connections between numbers. It is a multi-sensory way of learning, meaning children learn by seeing and feeling, learning maths through play. 

The colourful physical Shapes are an important part of Numicon where children can feel what a number means, and we recommend using them alongside the digital resources. You can browse a range of Numicon resources to support learning from their website. Each hole in a Shape represents its number, so a 1-shape has one hole, a 2-shape has two holes, etc. They can be placed together to show number bonds, as well as introducing the concept of addition and subtraction. 

Numicon lays the foundation of children's understanding of numbers all the way through school and provides tools to go over areas that a child may struggle with, helping them grasp math concepts and move forward. Find out more about Numicon here.

boy using Numicon Shapes and Special Words Plus app

Numicon in our Plus Editions

There are currently over 60 Numicon resources (with more coming soon) available exclusively to download in Special Words Plus and Special Stories Plus. You can use the resources as they are or personalise them for individual learning needs. 

For each resource, select the number range that you wish to use. We recommend starting with smaller number ranges for younger children, or those working at this level, and then extending to the higher ranges for older children or those more able.

Most of the Numicon resources are language neutral so you can adapt to add written words as well as changing the text to any language. Ensure that Text To Speech is ON, which will pick up the device's synthetic voice in the language that the device it set to.

We've detailed more about personalising the resources in Special Words Plus here and Special Stories Plus here

    Available Resources

    Counting Up, using written words and Numicon Shapes

    Count up from one to five, ten, twenty or thirty using matching Numicon Shapes with corresponding written words. These resources are English only but you can edit the text to be in any language you choose.

    The resources available to download are:

    • Counting Up, one to five
    • Counting Up, one to ten
    • Counting Up, one to twenty
    • Counting Up, one to thirty

     

    Counting up in Special Stories Plus

    Special Stories Plus - flashcard activity using Counting Up, one to five

    Counting Up, using digits and Numicon Shapes 

    As an alternative to the set of add-ons that count up in written words, we also have resources that show the Numicon Shapes with the numerical digits.

    The resources available to download have several number ranges to choose from:

    • Counting Up, 1 to 5
    • Counting Up, 1 to 10
    • Counting Up, 1 to 20
    • Counting Up, 1 to 30

    There are also two transitional add-ons that support moving onto higher numbers. Once 1 to 10 is mastered learn 11 to 20, and once these are known next steps are 21 to 30.

    • Counting Up, 11 to 20
    • Counting Up, 21 to 30

    Counting up in Special Words Plus

    Special Words Plus - Picture to Picture activity using Counting Up, 1 to 10

    Counting Down, using digits and Numicon Shapes 

    When children are confident with counting up, move onto counting down. Match the digits with the corresponding Numicon Shape.

    There are four number ranges available to download:

    • Counting Down, 5 to 1 
    • Counting Down, 10 to 1 
    • Counting Down, 20 to 1 
    • Counting Down, 30 to 1 

    Counting down in Special Words Plus

    Special Words Plus - Word to Picture activity, using Counting Down, 20 to 1

    Counting in Multiples, using digits and Numicon Shapes

    Support children learning multiples within the number ranges of 1 to 10, 1 to 20 and 1 to 30. The resources help children to learning counting up in multiples of 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, or 10s. The resources available to download include:

    • Number range 1 to 10:
      • Counting in Multiples, 2s up to 10
      • Counting in Multiples, 3s up to 10
    • Number range 1 to 20:
      • Counting in Multiples, 2s up to 20
      • Counting in Multiples, 3s up to 20
    • Number range 1 to 30:
      • Counting in Multiples, 2s up to 30
      • Counting in Multiples, 3s up to 30
      • Counting in Multiples, 4s up to 30
      • Counting in Multiples, 5s up to 30
      • Counting in Multiples, 6s up to 30
      • Counting in Multiples, 7s up to 30
      • Counting in Multiples, 8s up to 30
      • Counting in Multiples, 9s up to 30
      • Counting in Multiples, 10s up to 30

    Coming soon: resources with a higher number range

    Counting in multiples of 4 in Special Words Plus

    Special Words Plus - Picture to Picture activity using Counting in Multiples, 4s up to 30

    Counting in Multiples, using one Numicon Shape only

    Support counting in multiples to 5, 10, 20 or 30 using one Numicon Shape only. The resources available use a 1-shape, 2-shape, 5-shape or 10-shape. 

    Counting in 1s using 1-shapes:

    • Counting in Multiples, 1-shapes up to 5
    • Counting in Multiples, 1-shapes up to 10
    • Counting in Multiples, 1-shapes up to 20
    • Counting in Multiples, 1-shapes up to 30

    Counting in 2s using 2-shapes:

    • Counting in Multiples, 2-shapes up to 10
    • Counting in Multiples, 2-shapes up to 20
    • Counting in Multiples, 2-shapes up to 30

    Counting in 5s using 5-shapes:

    • Counting in Multiples, 5-shapes up to 10
    • Counting in Multiples, 5-shapes up to 20
    • Counting in Multiples, 5-shapes up to 30

    Counting in 10s using 10-shapes:

    • Counting in Multiples, 10-shapes up to 30

    Counting in 2s in Special Words Plus

    Special Words Plus - Picture to Picture activity using Counting in Multiples, 2-shapes up to 20

    Counting, with two Numicon Shapes 

    This set of resources show an alternative way of counting using just two Numicon Shapes (1-shape and 2-shape). Using just 1-shapes and 2-shapes supports the concepts of even and odd numbers as well as taking one away or adding one. 

    The resources available to download are:

    • Counting with 1-shapes and 2-shapes up to 10
    • Counting with 1-shapes and 2-shapes up to 20
    • Counting with 1-shapes and 2-shapes up to 30

    Counting with two shapes in Special Words Plus

    Special Words Plus - Word to picture activity using Counting with 1-shapes and 2-shapes up to 10

    Even and Odd Numbers, using Numicon Shapes and digits

    There are a number of resources focusing on either even or odd numbers within the ranges 1 to 5, 1 to 10, 1 to 20 or 1 to 30.  

    Even Numbers using Numicon Shapes are:

    • Even numbers between 1 and 5 
    • Even numbers between 1 and 10
    • Even numbers between 1 and 20
    • Even numbers between 1 and 30

    Odd Numbers using Numicon Shapes are:

    • Odd numbers between 1 and 5 
    • Odd numbers between 1 and 10
    • Odd numbers between 1 and 20
    • Odd numbers between 1 and 30

    Even Numbers in Special Stories Plus

    Special Stories Plus - Even Numbers, within 1-20

    Number Bonds

    Number bonds, also called number pairs, are two numbers that make up one whole number. Learning these supports children with addition and subtraction, as well as times tables. Each add-on shows the combination of pairs possible to make one number. 

    Note: The Numicon Shapes are placed horizontally so that the sum is read left to right which corresponds to each Numicon pair of shapes as read left to right.

    Small numbers can be used to show the concept of number bonds as there are fewer possibilities:

    • Number Bonds to 1
    • Number Bonds to 2
    • Number Bonds to 6
    • Number Bonds to 8
    • Number Bonds to 10

    Coming soon are:

    • Number Bonds to 3
    • Number Bonds to 4
    • Number Bonds to 5
    • Number Bonds to 7
    • Number Bonds to 9

    Number bonds in Special Words Plus

    Special Words Plus - Word to Picture activity using Number Bonds, within 10

    COMING SOON: Number Bonds from 1 to 10

    Once children have mastered all the Number Bonds there is a super add-on which contains every number bond: from 0 + 1, 0 + 2, 1 + 2, …, 9 + 1, 10 + 0 . This can be used in Special Words Plus where settings are set to Loop and Shuffle All for more of an assessment. Challenge by decreasing or increasing the Cards Per Page

    Number bonds to 10 in Special Words Plus

    Special Words Plus - Word to Picture activity using Number Bonds 1 to 10

    Number Bonds to 20

    These are the 20 number bonds that make 20. The resources include switching the number bonds so that children can see: 

     1 + 19 = 20 is the same as 19 + 1 = 20 

    View each number bond in Special Stories Plus and use it alongside a tabletop activity to copy, making the same shape using Numicon or objects in the Numicon Shape pattern.

    • Number Bonds to 20

    Number bonds to 20 in Special Words Plus

    Special Words Plus - Picture to Picture activity using Number Bonds, within 20

    Adding Facts to 10, sums using Numicon Shapes

    Adding Facts help children to learn and improve additions. Adding Facts is an advanced way to use Numicon and there are key numeracy skills children need to be mastered before getting to this stage: 

    • Know numbers up to 20, which can be practiced with our Counting Up 1 – 20 resource
    • Have a concept of addition, which can be practiced with our resource for Counting In 1s and 2s etc 
    • Understanding odd and even numbers is also a good skill to have as these are number patterns children can easily see. Use our Even and Odd resources to practice develop and improve this knowledge

    The resources available to download with N + <number> sums are:

    • Adding Facts to 10, N + 1 sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, N + 2 sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, N + 3 sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, N + 4 sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, N + 5 sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, N + 6 sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, N + 7 sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, N + 8 sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, N + 9 sums

    Then there are a set with <number> + N sums:

    • Adding Facts to 10, 1 + N sums 
    • Adding Facts to 10, 2 + N sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, 3 + N sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, 4 + N sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, 5 + N sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, 6 + N sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, 7 + N sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, 8 + N sums
    • Adding Facts to 10, 9 + N sums

    numicon-special-stories-adding-facts.jpg

    Special Stories Plus - Adding Facts to 10, 9 + N sums

    Download Our Plus Apps

    The resources above are available exclusively for Special Words Plus and Special Stories Plus. We offer a free 14 day trial which you can sign up for below:

    Special Words Plus trial

    Special Stories Plus trial

    Our Plus apps are also available for schools, charities and organisations. If you would be interested in using our apps to support your students, please get in touch

    Numicon

    We have released these resources with permission from Oxford University Press who are the publisher of the Numicon series of products. Find out more about Numicon www.oxfordprimary.co.uk/numicon, access teaching materials and browse a range of Numicon resources to support learning from their website. Find more activities for Numicon at Oxford Owl.

    Have an Idea for a Resource?

    We have many more resources coming soon. If there is a particular resource you would like to see, or think some of our existing resources need enhancements or updates, we'd love to hear from you. Send us your ideas to support@specialiapps.org.