Early years Maths is as easy as ABC

Like reading and other literacy skills development, the early years experiences with numeracy are critical to a child’s ultimate Mathematical development. Many of these experiences are learning games.

The Abecedarian approach to early years learning, and associated research strongly supports this premise. In fact they document a set of 200 individualized, game-like activities that are shared between an adult and one or two children. A sampler of 10 of these activities can be accessed here.

Of course many parents perform these type of play activities without thinking. As educators, I realize that the act of playing often opens up communication between a teacher and student. This often leads to improved effort and performance in future classes.

I am convinced that a large contributing factor to myself becoming a positive, competent Mathematician (and Maths teacher!), was the rich home environment I had. As a family we would often play card, board, dice games, etc. together. I had a strong will to win, and would carefully analyse each game and strategies that would give me a better chance to win. Later on in life I had to also learn how to win and lose graciously.

An excellent example of a similar approach is Sue Van Hattum’s Richmond Math Salon. I congratulate Sue on giving many children in Richmond, CA. the opportunity to “play” Mathematics, often in a free, unstructured way. I say let us take Sue’s lead, and allow more play in learning Mathematics. What do you think?

And what about ABC? Well UK early years education expert, Professor Philip Gammage, claims that 3 simple rules are the key to supporting healthy, well-adjusted children:

1.  Attachment

2.  Boundaries

3.  Consistency


About webmaths

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
This entry was posted in Games, Pedagogy, Teaching Ideas and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s