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Effective Practice : Early Years : Mathematics-specific Pedagogy


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1. How confident are you that you can give all children the best opportunities for effective development and learning in mathematics?

a. Taking into account child development?


Example

Young children’s physical development is rapid in their first two years of life. They use their hands and feet to explore all manner of environments; their awareness of shape becomes apparent as they recognise different objects by feel and texture. At this age children enjoy touching and looking at the many feely books that are published. A good resource is to provide collections of different objects with a similar theme, such as smooth and shiny things or a basket of round things or different sized balls. Any adults that are supporting the children will need to know and use the mathematical language to describe the objects.

Children will not all progress through the different areas of mathematics sequentially or at the same rate or at the same time. For instance, a child who has a lot of experience of using construction materials such as bricks and plastic building sets will have a greater familiarity and possible understanding of properties of shape and be less familiar with numbers and calculating. A child who has been helping the family count money or play board games might be advanced numerically but have little understanding about shape and space and measures. The starting point for all of the children’s planned mathematical learning will be what the child already knows and can do.

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