How do I connect numeracy with community, culture, and place?

"Connections build conceptual understanding. The more and the stronger the connections are among related ideas, the deeper and richer the understanding of the concept"

(Hyde, 2006)


  • provide authentic mathematical experiences; in and out of classroom, in local community, outdoors in nature
  • explore place-based learning
  • notice and name mathematics in your world
  • bring in guest speakers from community to talk about how they use mathematics in their lives
  • draw upon diverse cultures in the classroom and school community


Provide authentic mathematical experiences; in and out of classroom, in local community, outdoors in nature

Tluuwaay 'Waadluxan Mathematical Adventures

edited by Dr. Cynthia Nicol and Joanne Yovanovich (ordering information through

This book reflects a project involving students, educators and community members from Haida Gwaii. Photographs that reflect community, culture and place inspired mathematical adventures.

Math Is a Verb: Activities and Lessons from Cultures Around the World

by Jim Barta, Ron Eglash, Cathy Barkley (NCTM)


Mathematical Lens

Mathematics Teacher (NCTM journal) Mathematical Lens, monthly column edited by Ron Lancaster (member log in required)

Mathematical Lens uses photographs as a springboard for mathematical inquiry and appears in every issue of Mathematics Teacher. This column features photographs from around the world with mathematical connections and problems; it began in 2005 and has run for over 100 issues.

Show Me Your Math

Yukon Education Show Me Your Math: Language, culture and math

Outdoor Learning Resources book list.pdf

Outdoor Learning

As outdoor learning environments are explored, there are opportunities to make mathematical connections to community and place. A list of resources is provided to support mathematical connections during outdoor learning.

Place-Based Mathematics

This project highlights how students explore the community through a mathematics lens, taking photographs that inspire mathematical problem posing and solving.

Place-Based Mathematics.pdf

Where do you see mathematics?

Be on the look out for math in the world around you, and take photos. Check out three summers of math photos:




#lines in Steveston

#lines on Salt Spring Island

Where's the Math?

Book of math posters created by K-3 students highlighting different ways to "see math everywhere"!

Where's the math?.pdf

Math Recess: Playful Learning in an Age of Disruption

by Sunil Singh and Dr. Christopher Brownell

In the theme of recess, where a treasure chest of balls, ropes, and toys would be kept for children to play with, this book holds a deep and imaginative collection of fun mathematical ideas, puzzles, and problems.

Learning Connected to Place

Dr. Cynthia Nicol of UBC, explains why and how to connect mathematics learning to place, community and culture.

Public Math creates mathematical opportunities in the spaces that diverse children and families inhabit and interact with in their daily lives.

Career Education

Industry Training Authority

What are the essential mathematics skills needed for different trades?

Search here on the ITA site

World Economic Form - needed skills for the future

Link to current research on skills needed for future employment