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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 1 of 36

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

a. are aware of quantities and counting?


Very young children are often attracted to the largest group of something they like (toys, sweets) and will pull a face if someone tries to take things away or even things out.

Additional User Example

As a child counts they touch an object showing an aware of relating  concrete items with abstract numbers. Three objects equals number three.

Additional User Example

When giving out treats children will often ask for a larger number than the one that they have been given in the hope of acquiring more eg child is handed one biscuit and will say 'can I have 2 biscuits'.

What this might look like in the classroom

Have number labels around the classroom at the different activities. Draw the children's attention to these as part of the everyday organisation. Ask the question 'How many children are allowed to play here?' as a regular part of the class routine to familiarise the children with the numbers and to get them to count and check.

Taking this mathematics further

Other opportunities within the session to count and encourage children to join in arise all the time; How many people are here today? Have we got enough trikes out? Can I have four children to help me? The children will quickly begin to use numbers and counting as part of their everyday routines and as they grow in confidence their counting can be extended to larger numbers.

Making connections

Counting and understanding the relation to quantities of things are both essential tools for more complex mathematical work and the more opportunities you can create for the children to become confident and accurate in everyday activities the more confidently they will approach more formal mathematics learning.

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