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Numbers as labels and for counting : Early Years : Mathematics Content Knowledge

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Early Years
Numbers as labels and for counting
Question 2 of 36

1. How confident are you in understanding and recognising that very young children:

b. begin to know and use number names?


As soon as they begin to talk, children will include familiar number words in their speech, such as ages and house numbers. For children with English as an additional language (EAL), bilingual support can help nurture this development.

What this might look like in the classroom

Using music sessions to sing a variety of counting songs which involve some actions or role play such as ‘Five Currant Buns’ and counting out the children to be the buns. This will be reinforced later in a play−dough session by modelling the buns. Suggest that the next time you sing the song you could use more children − make another bun and count to six and so on.

Taking this mathematics further

Relating the mathematics to real life activities and making them into an accessible game helps children to make the connection between numbers, counting and their world. In the early years setting it is easy to make mathematical links to almost every area of learning but music is one of the easiest and the children gain huge benefit from the rhymes and rhythms to help them with counting.

Making connections

Children often arrive in the Foundation Stage knowing how to count but with little of no understanding of what they are saying. This prior knowledge is an asset and can be built upon with all the activities they will encounter in the Nursery and Reception Stages. Linking the counting of one to ten objects such as their fingers begins to embed counting as a meaningful activity straight away.

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