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.
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.
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.
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.
Easter baking is an opportunity to practise problem solving. Do children know what to do if they take their cakes out of the oven and they are not properly baked yet? How can they tell if a cake is cooked all the way through? It's time to decide!
Hand washing may seem old-fashioned but it is an eco-friendly alternative to using a washing machine. Get children involved and help them to consolidate their understanding of how a series of steps lead to a successful outcome.
Jenni Clarke provides a guide to how mathematics can be enhanced through in the moment planning, with continuous provision which helps practitioners to identify and extend learning opportunities for all children.
Explore the books of David Walliams as a great resource to introduce key mathematical concepts, such as counting, writing numbers and comparing sizes. Making playdough snakes is guaranteed to be a hit.
Is there a danger that, in squeezing in so many elements, the proposed Early Learning Goals for mathematics will be unachievable for all but a few children, leading to many being assessed as failing before they start school?
Children's natural fascination with snow and ice provides a strong impetus for counting when practitioners weave in rhymes and use resources imaginatively. Extend this to small world play with penguins and icy landscapes.
The fourth part of this series linking maths and children's books focuses on Monkey Do! by Allan Ahlberg and Andre Amstutz. As the Monkey jumps from page to page, use it as an opportunity to teach children in your setting about positional language.
Ailsa Chapman re-visits that stalwart of early years resourcing – the tuff tray, and suggests ways to extend its scope, with a range of imaginative ideas that children can take in any direction.