May 2014

Family Math expands to Intermediate Phase

The Old Mutual Family Math project in Thaba 'Nchu and Botshabelo was expanded to include the Grade 4 Mathematics teachers in 2014. The teachers attend three term trainings at the University, after which they receive material to present the activities to their learners in the classroom as well as host workshops for the learners' parents.

The 23 Intermediate Phase teachers and 5 Subject Advisors are registered for the newly developed Short Learning Program FAMILY MATH FOR INTERMEDIATE PHASE MATHEMATICS TEACHING - AN INTEGRATED APPROACH.

The new EXIT strategy program started in 2014 especially for the 36 Foundation Phase teachers who received Family Math training in 2013. This program entails no formal training, but the teachers still receive classroom material, are expected to host parent workshops and receive a visit from a Family Math mentor once every term.


Old Mutual Family Math Project

Science-for-the-Future joined hands with Old Mutual and the Free State Department of Education to include 18 primary schools from the Motheo district in the Family Math programme from 2013.

The 18 schools include 11 schools in Thaba ‘Nchu, 7 schools in Botshabelo. The grade 3 educators from the respective schools attend a Family Math workshop at the University of the Free State once a term to prepare them to integrate Family Math activities into the curriculum, after which they return to their communities. In addition to presenting the activities in the classroom, they have to host a workshop for the parents/guardians of the grade 3 learners to teach them the Family Math activities. This enables the parents/guardians to help the learners with their Family Math homework when they come home after doing the activities in class.

As part of the Old Mutual Family Math Project, the 32 teachers and 3 subject advisors are registered for the Short Learning Program FAMILY MATH FOR FOUNDATION PHASE MATHEMATICS TEACHING - AN INTEGRATED APPROACH. The contact sessions for the Short Learning Programme takes place in the first and second term.

Visiting Professor from USA

Prof Dale Hunter from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, USA visited Science-for-the-Future from February to April 2013. Prof Hunter worked with Mrs Lorraine Botha to establishe the Family Math and Science program at the University of the Free State in 2003.

Upon her visit, she was impressed by the growth of the Family Math and Family Science programmes and how it was adapted to fit the South African situation. During her stay in Bloemfontein, Prof Hunter attended Family Science and Family Math contact sessions of student educators in both Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa, teacher training sessions of the Ilima Trust project, parent workshops in Thaba ‘Nchu and Botshabelo as well as Short Learning Program contact sessions.

We are looking forward to further collaboration between Prof Dale Hunter and Science-for-the-Future.


Family Math Short Course implemented from 2013

Educators and Subject Advisor have the opportunity to enroll for a competency-based Short Learning Programme (SLP) of 160 notional hours at the University of the Free State from 2013. Admission requirements:
- Education qualification to teach in the Foundation Phase or
- Any other teaching qualification with at least one year completed teaching experience in the Foundation Phase.


Family Math for Foundation Phase Mathematics teaching – an integrated approach


To develop and enhance the Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Foundation Phase teachers with regard to the teaching and learning of Mathematics concepts by utilising the hands-on and constructivist approach of the Family Math programme in a formal and non-formal setting - demystifying Mathematics in the Foundation Phase.


The development of mathematical concepts and skills required for the Foundation Phase through a constructivist approach, making provision for different learning styles and thought-patterns present in a diverse group of learners. This will be strengthened by designing and producing suitable learning support material, including corresponding assessment tasks leading to improved teaching strategies. In turn this will develop the mathematical language and terminology to improve comprehension and understanding of concepts.

Teaching methods, mode of delivery and materials:

The course is designed to be conducted over two contact sessions of 40 hours and an additional 120 notional hours. A module, consisting of a student- and teacher guide, which outline the background, content, rational and assessment tasks will be used by the facilitator and the students. Concrete teaching material and manipulatives will feature prominently and it will be provided to be used with each unit of the module. A hands-on and constructivist approach will be followed throughout the facilitating process.

Family Math and Family Science spread their wings

The Family Math and Family Science programmes were run only in schools in the Northern Cape and Free State provinces with the exception of the Umlamli Senior Primary School in the Eastern Cape. It is envisaged to include 24 more schools in the Eastern Cape in the Family Math and Family Science programmes within the next three years.

Family Math activities to improve mental mathematical skills

Recent workshops, facilitated by Subject Advisors of the DoE, focused on the topic “Mental Mathematics” in the Foundation Phase Curriculum by utilising Family Math activities.

Sterkspruit Project

This Family Math project took place at Umlamli Senior Primary School.

The Sterkspruit project was initiated by Mr Mtya, Principal of the Umlamli Senior Primary School, who contacted the Faculty of Education at the University to ask for assistance concerning Maths and Science.

The Family Math and Family Science team visited the school in the Eastern Cape and after discussions the school was included in the Family Math programme.

The project included three teacher workshops in Bloemfontein and three parent workshops in the Umlamli Village near Sterkspruit. Classroom material was provided for Foundation Phase learners to develop and reinforce math concepts while working hands on with concrete materials and manipulatives.

Description: Fams Keywords: Sterkspruit, parent, workshop, family math

Description: Fams Keywords: Sterkspruit, parent, workshop, family math

Description: Fams Keywords: Sterkspruit, Umlamli, Teachers, Workshop, family math


Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town

Held 24-28 August 2009

Description: Fams Keywords: Amesa National math week, Amesa, National, math week,

In this photo (from left to right): Ms Marique Plekker, Ms Pontsho Mosese, Mr Patrick, Mr Faaiz Gierdien, Ms Lorraine Botha and Ms Elizna Prinsloo.

Description: Fams Keywords: Amesa National math week, Amesa, National, math week,

Description: Fams Keywords: Amesa National math week, Amesa, National, math week,

Description: Fams Keywords: Amesa National math week, Amesa, National, math week,

Learners from Schools around Mitchell's Plain attending the AMESA Maths Week.

CED holds Family Math and Science Summit

The Centre for Education Development (CED) at the University of the Free State launched its Family Math & Family Science roll-out initiative in the Free State and Northern Cape Province at the beginning of 2009. As part of the quality assurance process, a Family Math & Family Science Summit was recently held at the CED to reflect upon the roll-out strategy during 2009. Delegates as far as Qwaqwa in the Free State and De Aar and Springbok in the Northern Cape province, sponsors and other role-players attended the summit to share information regarding the impact and best practices of the roll-out strategy.

Description: Fams Keywords: Amesa National math week, Amesa, National, math week,
At the summit were, from the left: Ms Lorraine Botha (CED); Susan Koen (Coordinator: Frances Baard, Northern Cape); Prof Daniella Coetzee-Manning (Director: CED); Elizna Prinsloo (Project Coordinator: CED); Magriet Fourie (Coordinator: Qwaqwa); Anne-Marie Lochner (Coordinator: Namakwa).
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe


Shereen Motaung
T: +27 51 401 9281


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