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Help with maths in nursery

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Hello,

this is my first post, so I'm hoping it's in the right place. I'm currently updating target tracker and yet again as I go through our tapestry learning journals I see that none of us are observing much maths in nursery, particularly me.

Personally I never seem to see it, but I've never really liked maths much. As a key stage 1 teacher I taught it as required but I never spent the ages I spent on literacy, lovingly planning it and making it memorable! My own children are chalk and cheese about maths, one adores it, sees numbers everywhere, counts everything and the other has no interest (the category I fall into).

I need help! How can I train myself (no budget in school, but I'm prepared to spend my own money on books or online training) to love maths enough to enthuse the children about it. I need someone to set me projects to implement in the nursery, say one a fortnight for me to do until it becomes more natural.

Can anyone help?

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Hello!

Well done on making your first post! Maths in Nursery is everywhere! when you get your head round the terminology you hear it in children's play all the time ...

I once observed a group register time at the beginning of a pre-school session where the teacher used positional language to encourage children to realise whose name she was calling in the register so "this person is behind Tom but next to Billy" ... "This person is sitting two rows in front of Sarah and two places to the left" etc she was able to differentiate her description depending on which child she was going to call next, using her professional knowledge of the children's mathematical understanding to guide her questions.

I have also just read this brilliant blog post from 'Teacher Tom' which opened my eyes to the different levels of mathematical understanding that we see every day in Nursery. Blue Bears.

My advice wold be not to force themes and projects - but look for what is already there and hear what the children are already telling you about what they know. Don't forget to have a look in our resource library to see if there are any handy maths bits there that you might like!

Let us know how you get on!

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Hi there, welcome in by the way.

 

Oh maths is my pet subject! Statistically maths along with reading and writing are still the weakest areas when it comes to the EYFSP, more so for children (and especially boys) from economical disadvantaged backgrounds.

I do find that maths is an area that is often weaker than others in settings and also one practitioners feel least confident about. It's also as Rebecca said, often less visible so missing not because it isn't happening but because it's isn't noticed

 

If you really want to look at your own, and your staffs knowledge and confidence there is a set of self evaluation audit on NCETM (national centre for excellence in teaching maths) which does have an

Early years section

https://www.ncetm.org.uk/

 

You do have to register but it's free. Go to the self evaluation section, and also there are also some online CPD modules, they are a bit old now but the content would give you a starting place.

 

Also I highly recommend this book.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Foundations-Mathematics-Active-Approach-Measures/dp/1855394367

by Carole Skinner and judith Stevens, it's easy to read and crammed with ideas and pedagogical input. I'd make it compulsory reading for students!

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I believe NDNA run an online Maths in the EYFS. Not sure on the cost though but their courses can be accessed even if your not a member.

Maths is everywhere in EYFS look at mud kitchens with the right resources you'll get a wealth of observations as they happily tip, pour, measure, weight, estimate quantities to create to the perfect mud pie :)

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Don't worry about projects. Just talk and ask questions.

 

Who has more playdough than me? How do you know?

Can you help me find the welly that matches this one?

Do we have enough cups for everyone?

It will be tidy up time in five minutes.

Is Ellie’s apron the right size for her?

How many children can play with the water at one time?

Can we fit all these cars in this box?

Can you put all the big books on the bottom shelf?

Mollie, you have lovely new shoes. What size are they?

What is Jack’s big brother called?

Can you see where I put my pen?

It is Ben’s birthday tomorrow. How old will he be?

Let’s sit in a big circle.

Goodness me, how long is that caterpillar? Is it longer than your finger?

That is a heavy box so two of you need to carry it together.

Can you give half of the pencils to Billy?

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Google mathematical mark making and you will get a wealth of information!

 

The developmental stages of children's mathematical thinking are fascinating - part of my original teacher training so I love teaching it. So much is lost if you just teach through development matters as a curriculum. in 30 - 50 SSM there is NO mention of measures - which is appalling!!

Cx

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Google mathematical mark making and you will get a wealth of information!

 

The developmental stages of children's mathematical thinking are fascinating - part of my original teacher training so I love teaching it. So much is lost if you just teach through development matters as a curriculum. in 30 - 50 SSM there is NO mention of measures - which is appalling!!

Cx

The lack of measure in 30-50 drives me mad as well!

Maybe a good idea would be to brainstorm mathematical language with your team using the ELGs as a guide? Then everyone can be on the look out for the language which will help with observations.

Green Hippo x

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The lack of measure in 30-50 drives me mad as well!

Maybe a good idea would be to brainstorm mathematical language with your team using the ELGs as a guide? Then everyone can be on the look out for the language which will help with observations.

Green Hippo x

 

This is the problem when practitioners don't use the statutory framework to guide the curriculum offer and instead rely on something non statutory that is primarily to assist assessment purposes. Measures are always there as they are in the statutory educational programme, so if a setting were to ignore measures with 30 - 50 month age children in effect they are not meeting the statutory requirements!!

 

The developmental stages of mathematics is not something a lot of practitioners will have studied in any depth I guess. It also appears fine to say, as an adult, I'm rubbish at maths yet to do so with literacy is taboo and hidden. If adults don't understand mathematical princples and how to apply them how on earth do they instil a love of mathematics in children. I do think it is important too that adults know where the early stages of mathematical thinking head towards. It's also important to be able to use mathematical language appropriately and accurately so children develop the conceptual understanding alongside the practical application, so getting the whole team thinking mathematically is a good idea. I recall a practitioner saying to me her children didn't use any maths language and when we went back in the room, two children were having a conversation about who had the larger truck. She just couldn't hear it, despite the fact they were using it all the time because she didn't know what she was listening for.

 

Cx

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