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Provision To Enable Calculating


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Myself and my reception team of 5 classes :o are currently brainstorming ideas of ways to enhance our provision to enable children to more readily demonstrate and practise calculating skills in a child-initiated way, in order to ensure the 20% / 80% balance for the profile. One of the key areas I often spot children using calculating skills incidentally and not as part of adult directed tasks is through systems, such as the snack bar, how many more children can fit there at the moment etc. - children discussing this amongst themselves. Playing schools is also another good one! I just wondered if you had any particular gems of resources you have continually available, any systems that support children in demonstrating and practising their calculating skills, or examples of child-initiated calculating that I might be able to bring back to my team. I am collecting ideas of my own, researching in books, even thinking with my own brain (!) but this is always the first port of call for excellent ideas and resources! Thank you everyone!

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Takes a bit of modelling, but I numbered some cones outside and suggested children to throw hoops over the cones. Good for number recognition but also suggesting adding the numbers together (this was last summer term when children were counting on). Really good thread as I struggle with this too. Totally agree with playing schools as a great one!

Also I caught two boys throwing large giant dice and adding up their scores the other day by couting all the dots. x

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Really? It's so good to hear that particular difficult areas are shared by other people! It sounds like a few of us could do with some more ideas with this! One other thing I've done that's been successful is to have a smiley face on the board and write children's names on it who are making good choices, working hard, being kind etc - one colour in the morning, one colour in the afternoon. Then we've talked about the two groups and how many altogether frequently, which has led on to children commenting on this independently. Register stuff is good too, but the numbers are too big, so I was thinking after half term to have some kind of board showing boys for packed lunch / school dinners, girls for packed lunch school dinners.

When my team get bak together with ideas after half term, I'll add them on, but until then, any more ideas would be great!

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Hi everyone,

Just thought i'd share some incidental examples.

 

Last week we were making gingerbread men in nursery and I had told the children I needed to choose five children to help. As we began to choose children and send them to the bathroom, one child, who was desperate to be picked said "so how many have you chosen so far?" I said 3 and he replied "and you need 5? Ooh that's 2 more!"

 

On the maths table we had supplied resources to encourage the children to gather objects to 3. For some children that had chosen to come over this was very easy. So just by accident I said to them "O.K I'm going to turn a number over and you have to gather that amount then i will turn another card over and you have to change the amount you have got to represent that number" (either adding or taking away). I was really pleased with how popular this was and how motivated the chidren were and they even decided they wanted to go head to head.

 

Outdoor play_ We put up a washing line outside and told the children that the wind had blown all the socks off the line and asked them to go around the outdoor area andcollect them. Although this was a pairing activity the children started to ask how many socks were on the line and they were working out how many socks were still missing.

 

if i remember anymore i'll add later

:o

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Anything that needs a score i.e skittles with no's on, a target etc and an easel to record their score on.

 

Mine also love the board game Bus stop and once they have had the language modelled and seen the rules I just listen in to their language.

 

Mmm, we also count the no of packed lunches and school dinners everyday (and ask so how many children here today?) and then when they are lining up for school dinners we talk about how many children we need in the line in total, how many are in the line and how many are we waiting for.

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Lots of good ideas as usual!

 

Also worth a look at is one of the latest - well to me anyhoo - docs from National Strategies site - 'Laying the Foundations in Mathematics' - just for Early Years with lots of ideas for provision etc.

 

Have to download it, but worth it!

 

Jenni

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Dont forget the Numbers and patterns document has some good ideas too.

 

Beam also have some excellent publications.

 

Have you thought about recording? Do children self initiate that and explain what they are doing?

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Recently off top of head:

Popular with the boys.We made snowmen skittles with pop bottles but the aspect the children really enjoyed was sitting with clip boards doing a tally score. We devised the rules: only 3 can play and then first to score 10 is the winner. Lots of recording and conersations like 'if Elliott gets 2 more he's the winner' displaying number bonds to 10.

Pizza shop role play. Taking orders for small medium large pizzas but only allocating number of toppings allowed on each.

Fishing with nets in the water tray for luck oranges at Chinese New Year.

Baking jam tarts and adding pastry heartsin each one.12 holes in the baking tray each child can make 6 tarts How many heart shapes? 'You need 3 more circles Laila'-Molly

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I remember many years ago when my colleague dew a picture showing how many children could play in the role play..he had drawn 3 boys and 3 girls and the children had taken it literally..so the conversation around who was allowed in and if how many more girls and who could go in, or who had to leave. When I explained that as long as it were 6 altogether, it didn't matter how many girls and boys, they were very quick to work out that 6 girls and no boys was a good option, and there was a lot of negotiation going on around 'if so and so leave then there will be', but 'if you come in then that makes...'

 

Examples round snack are also great, in terms of food and equipment, cups, chairs, plates etc.

counting the children themselves. We did this every day, estimated how many were here today, counted, and then invariably someone would walk in late, so how many are there now?

 

Games involving dice ae good for counting on, the more children get used to seeing the pattern the more they know one number and can then count on the other to get the total. Board games also good if spaces are numbered, for moving forward and back.

 

Target boxes (cardboard boxes with a hole cut out, some beanbags or balls, each box numbered differently).. work out totals and extend to how many do you need to get... the children will do this naturally if they have lots of exposure.

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