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head in sandBERCS is instuctional goal

The BERCS cycle is simply a way to remember and apply the components of effective teaching. When shared with your students, they are able to begin to share the responsibility for, and develop personal practice goals around, becoming more competent and accomplished learners.

BERCS in circle

B.E.R.C.S is a highly spatial model. Spatial skills are the skills for “doing” and “remembering”. That is what makes them so important to include in your teaching. Thinking and reasoning are spatially grounded tasks… spatial reasoning is now considered the number one indicator for success in mathematics and science.




Teachers plan with BERCS in mind:

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Students Practice with BERCS in mind

The B.E.R.C.S. card below belongs to a set I call “What’s Covered.”  Students who have been working with dot collections and automatic recognition of quantity to 10 are challenged to use what they know about 8 to decide what is missing.

Eight WC card


The cards might be used for practice in small groups or as an “opener” at the start of your math lesson or as an exit card for the end of a session. The cards simply stimulate interest. Students might work extensively with one card or complete several.


AT HOME: BERCS cards provide parents with engaging tasks for practising important skills.


The goal is to help student develop connected understandings of addition and subtraction. Addition and subtraction are inverse relationships. This is a key understanding that students will need all through the Grades. The program of studies for Grades 1 to 3 includes think addition for subtraction as a strategy. This is the common sense, everyday, practical numeracy our students need to master. STOP teaching silly rules that confuse and confound. TEACH KIDS TO THINK !!!

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The idea of determining what is missing in a relationship links to multiplication and 2 digit puzzlesdivision as well.

ONCE students have a connected understanding of how area models support learning and remembering multiplication and division facts this deck puts emphasis on using what you know about multiplication to solve what appear to be division problems…


Does this distribution apply to the card above? EXPLAIN.


Practise does matter, but teach students to practise in ways that actually do have a long term impact on remembering. BERCS practise works.