Getting to grips with mathematical concepts is all about ‘hands on’ experience.
Posted: 19th January 2017 | Category: Reception
For a small person, reciting numerals in order is like learning a rhyme or song - a simple matter which can be achieved with the minimum of fuss. But getting to grips with mathematical concepts is all about 'hands on' experience.
Learning that each object must be counted only once in order to reach a reliable total, or that quantity remains the same no matter how the objects are arranged requires a leap of understanding which comes about through regular practice and carefully planned play.
In Reception and Kindergarten we make sure that accurate counting and calculation is part of our daily routine, undertaken for practical purposes.
For example, working out how many plates are needed at snack time would involve the calculation - 'total number of children in the class minus children absent'. Deciding whether you can choose to play in the shop would involve calculating the difference between children already playing there and the maximum children allowed in at one time.
We always try to answer a question with a question, and the children never say to us "Just tell me!" because they relish the opportunity to work things out for themselves.
We use toys and props to make learning fun.
One of our favourites is Malcom the Monster, an attractive green fellow with a gruff voice and challenging personality, who joins us for circle time maths. As we count to one hundred, he is passed from child to child, becoming very upset if the counting is out of time with the passing. He oversees our addition and subtraction, rewarding good calculating and good manners with Jewels. Our long-suffering Skippy gets pegged on a washing line with the puppets when we are practising ordering numerals, and is equally generous with the 'good work' stamp.
So, when your child tells you that we 'just played all day', be assured that it is certainly true - but we learn an awful lot as we do it!
Mrs P and Michelle