Empowering learning through play
Research suggests early maths skills are a more accurate indicator of later academic success that early reading skills
There is a concern that some children are receiving formal learning too early, which does not prepare them. Research clearly shows children need to problem solve based on their intuitive interests and fascinations
• The adult role
• Scaffold to support independent problem solving
• Add materials to sustain further interest
• Generate new ideas
• Listen to child’s process of investigation
• Support investigation through the child’s lens
What can you tell me about this shape?
How do you know it’s a face?
How do you know this shape is not a square?
I’m thinking of a shape. It has 3 corners. Can you see the shape I might be thinking of?
What is the same / different about the two cloud shapes?
The difference between knowing and understanding, is a child may know that 2+2 = 4 but may not understand why this is true
The child may know the shape is called a circle or triangle, this suggests nothing about their understanding of the shape and its properties
Children may naturally demonstrate their intuitive knowledge about maths in the process of play, but proficiency emerges as the teacher observes and finds ways to make the children’s investigations more meaningful.
Thoughtful adding ( or sensitive replacement) of materials allow children to construct understanding about shapes in relation to space
When the pattern cards were removed, children were free to investigate their own pattern making
• Staff used these opportunities to add resources such as tape measures, writing materials and money to support the maths.
• Staff listened to the children and supported their process of investigation
• Adding resources
• Children brought in their own fascinating objects from home and outside
• They decided to use egg boxes to measure the whole room, and then filled them with playdoh chocolates to sell in their shop
• Graph paper, assorted sized paper & fabrics added to art/craft
• Tracing and counting the number of squares
• Adding stop watches to water/guttering
• Menus with prices, calendars & clocks, recipes in role play
• Dice, sandpaper numbers, clipboards everywhere
• Numbers on shelves
• Is maths learning restricted to one core knowledge area? Or do children learn better when they can make make mathematical connections within all other learning areas?
• Does a play-based/inquiry based approach support inclusive practice?
• For maths to be successful do children need to feel confidence in risk taking and problem solving?
• Does exploration provide a safe context to explore concrete meaning?
• Do positive attitudes and a motivated disposition support persistence?
• How could you empower your children’s developing mathematical minds?
• How important are learning styles, reflective inquiry, responsive interactions, thoughtfully planned environments & content based on children’s fascinations?
• Does scaffolding support highly developed concepts and skills based on children/s intuitive mathematical knowledge?
• How do your routines support mathematical concepts