Sunday, 2 April 2017

Growing Number Knowledge

Over the past six weeks, I have been using activities to strengthening and develop the children's number knowledge and strategies to provide a good foundation for the development at further stages. I have focussed on number identification so that they are able to read, sequence, rote count and record the numbers 1 to 10.  And the second focus has been on forwards and backwards number sequences.  Both areas are part of the number framework.

I am using a wide range of activities such as playing games, going on a number hunt and taking photos of groups of objects and putting them in order, iPad activities, puzzles, dot to dot, choral chanting or rote counting, poems and taking any opportunities during the day to count and record numbers.

The early number activities were done with concrete objects so the children could physically manipulate the objects as they counted.  This reduced the task of learning to count to an enjoyable activity where the manipulative objects were used as "thinking tools".  For example the Cliposaurus activity reduces the amount of recording for children but still required the reading of numbers.

Children manipulating cut up numbered pictures

The children enjoy choral chanting and clapping as a maths warm up so most are able to correctly say the number sequence to ten.  Some children are still struggling with written recording so this is still a part of our daily practise.

Physical activities are enjoyed by the children where they pretend they are a given number and need to line up by finding the number that goes before them and checking who comes after them.  This physical moving is helping them with the concepts of before and after which they are finding tricky.

I have found that games provide a fun way to practice their number knowledge that meet a specific mathematical purpose.  The children learn to explain and justify simple concepts such as in the game "What is the Missing Number?" by justifying what comes before or after or by checking against a number line.

The children need to become proficient "doers and learners" to make sense of numbers and help them think for themselves.