In the first of a series exploring water play, Jenni Clarke suggests how to make the most of opportunities for joyful, spontaneous maths learning, by seizing ‘teachable moments’ and using observation to gauge progress.
Children are at their most self-absorbed in the construction area which means there are strong opportunities for maths learning. Jenni Clarke suggests ways to support this through in the moment planning.
Cooking is one of the most enjoyable ways to apply mathematical thinking and will help children to transfer their new found counting skills to many other activities and everyday tasks. Observe how they begin to correct their own mistakes.
Pebbles are a beautiful, tactile resource which can be used for matching pictures with real objects, investigating number and counting outdoors. You could also lay a trail to support the use of positional language, says Hilary White.
Children's homes are characterised by exciting shapes and patterns which can feature in their play. Jenni Clarke describes spontaneous scenarios, as part of in the moment planning, which can be exploited for rich mathematical learning.
Find out how this traditional festive song can help to consolidate number and sequence recognition, counting forwards and backwards, practising prepositions and also learning a variety of action words.
Seize the moment to support children to explore ideas to do with repeating patterns as they follow their own play and exploration. Snakes can provide the inspiration – by threading beads on to a string or using loose parts outdoors.
Take a look at this month’s practical supplement which has a wealth of seasonal ideas to support children’s learning through play. Use our expert pointers on the Characteristics of Effective Leaning to create meaningful observations and enhance your knowledge of each individual child.
Changes to the Early Learning Goals for mathematics in the revised EYFS do not reflect the input from experts and research, and will not support children to develop a love of the subject, says the Early Childhood Mathematics Group.