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Numeracy, which encompasses all of the mathematical knowledge and skills an individual needs in order to function in society, is a goal that all students should achieve, no matter what path they may choose to follow in school. It can be attained through effective, controlled use of all the mathematical concepts set forth in the Québec Education Program.

This document is complementary to the mathematics program. It provides additional information on the knowledge and skills students must acquire throughout elementary school with respect to arithmetic, geometry, measurement, statistics and probability. Each of these branches is dealt with in a separate section that covers, for every year of elementary school, the knowledge to be acquired as well as the actions to be performed in order for students to fully assimilate the concepts presented. Each section consists of an introduction, which provides an overview of the progression of learning, and content tables, which illustrate the mathematical symbols and vocabulary to be introduced as students progress in their learning. This document should therefore help teachers with their lesson planning.

Because mathematics is a science that involves abstract concepts and language, students develop their mathematical thinking gradually through personal experience and exchanges with peers. Their learning is based on situations that are often drawn from everyday life. Thus, by participating in learning activities that encourage them to reflect, manipulate, explore, construct, simulate, discuss, structure and practise, students assimilate concepts, processes and strategies.1 These activities allow students to use objects, manipulatives, references and various tools and instruments. They also enable students to rely on their intuition, sense of observation, manual skills and ability to express themselves, reflect and analyze—actions that are essential to the development of competencies. By making connections, visualizing mathematical objects in different ways and organizing them in their minds, students gradually develop their understanding of abstract mathematical concepts.

In this way, students build a set of tools that will allow them to communicate appropriately using mathematical language, reason effectively by making connections between mathematical concepts and processes, and solve situational problems. By using mathematical concepts and various strategies, students can make informed decisions in all areas of life. Combined with learning activities, the situations experienced by students promote the development of mathematical skills and attitudes that allow them to mobilize, consolidate and broaden their mathematical knowledge.

1.  Examples of strategies are provided in the appendix.