Key Skills

Key skill elements relating to mathematics

The examples below identify some of the elements that are related to learning activities in mathematics. Teachers can also build many of the other elements of key skills into their classroom planning. The eight key skills are set out in detail in Key Skills of Junior Cycle.

Table 2: Links between junior cycle mathematics and key skills
Key skill   Key skill element Examples of possible student learning activities
Being creative   Exploring options and alternatives As students engage in a task for which the solution is not immediately obvious, they ask questions, explore ideas and alternatives, evaluate ideas and actions and take more responsibility for their learning. 
Being literate Expressing ideas clearly and accurately   Students explain their thinking and justify their reasoning, using mathematical terminology appropriately and accurately. 
Being numerate   Using digital technology to develop numeracy skills and understanding Students use digital technology to analyse and display data numerically and graphically; to display and explore algebraic functions and their graphs; to explore shapes and solids; to investigate geometric results in a dynamic way; and to communicate and collaborate with others.
Communicating   Using numbers Students use numbers to describe or summarise a situation; to support their reasoning and conclusions; and to convey and explain patterns and relationships.
Managing information and thinking  Thinking creatively and critically Students engage in rich tasks which require them to use their mathematical knowledge and skills in novel ways.
They reflect on their own approaches to such tasks and compare them to those of others, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of different possible approaches.
Managing myself  Being able to reflect on my own learning  Students reflect on which learning activities they find most effective, using this knowledge to help further their learning in mathematics. 
Staying well   Being confident   Students enjoy frequent opportunities to experience success in mathematics. They experience a positive approach to learning in which different approaches are valued and they are encouraged to learn from mistakes. 
Working with others  Learning with others  Students work on collaborative tasks with peers in which they develop both their mathematical and their interpersonal skills, offering mutual support and feedback throughout the process.