Mathematics

Maths: Easter egg patterns

Easter eggs are ideal for inspiring exploration, discussion, understanding, and the creation of a variety of repeating patterns.

Mardi Gras maths

Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day or Mardi Gras, falls on the first day of March this year. Try out some of these activities, combining cooking and eating pancakes with some mathematical skills, and make it a learning opportunity for all.

Maths: Money for beginners

The aim of this article is to look at children's books and stories about money, especially those suitable for early years, and to start to explore money and simple economics through practical activities.

Maths: That's the shape of it!

There may no longer be an early learning goal specifically devoted to understanding shape, space and measure, but settings are still expected to provide rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning. Here I include some of the best books on this area of learning.

Maths: Thrills and spills

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.

Maths: From a solid base

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.

Maths: Taking the biscuit

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.

Maths: A stones throw

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.

Maths: Grand designs

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.

Maths: ‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’

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.

My little mermaid

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.

Maths: Follow a pattern

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.

Maths: Hop in the box

Observe how motivated children become when they create their own number games and develop positional language by following each other.

Maths: Creepy crawlies

Bug hunts can be a focus for indoors as well as outdoors. Tap into children's fascinations, with cues to count, categorise and respect these tiny creatures.

Maths is a piece of cake

Explore these tips which can be passed to parents at home for making maths learning a fun and stress-free experience.

Maths: Testing the water

Use the ‘Big’ books of Julia Jarman to involve children talking spontaneously about mathematical concepts such as full and empty, big and small and near and far.

Get baking!

Prepare for Easter by involving children in some simple baking activities that will also develop their maths and literacy skills.

Maths: Master bakers

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!

Maths: All wrung out

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.

Maths: ‘Ten brown cones’

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.

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