Glasgow Counts- The CPA Approach

 What is CPA?

CPA stands for Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract.  These are the three steps that researchers think develop good understanding of maths concepts in children.


This is the physical stage of learning where children use various physical resources and materials. This might mean they are using cubes and counters to show numbers or add and subtract.  They could be using counting beads to count in different sequences. Later, this could mean using tens and units or place value counters to work with larger numbers.


At this stage, children have understood the hands on experience.  They can now use pictures of diagrams to represent    numbers, solve calculations and problems.


At this stage, children can use symbols to represent maths.


Useful Websites