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The Learning Environment : Early Years : Mathematics-specific Pedagogy

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Early Years
The Learning Environment
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1. How confident are you that you can provide all children with a mathematically rich learning environment?

a. The outdoor environment


The outdoor environment is important for learning maths. When playing outdoors, children have the opportunity to try out new ideas and mathematical skills on a large scale, with active, physical movement. Put together learning resources that are versatile, such as plastic crates, guttering, washing lines, small carpet squares. Permanent fixtures often have just one use. It is more effective to encourage children to control, change and modify their environment. Dismantling and rebuilding can contribute to children’s mathematical learning. Make sure the outdoor area can be used in all weathers. You can have a storytelling area to re-enact number rhymes and stories, such as We’re going on a bear hunt. Enhance the sand area to give variety, such as turning it into a beach with wet and dry sand, and buckets and rakes. Include ice in the water area: freeze some plastic dinosaurs in an ice-cube tray and children can see how long they take to melt. In the garden area, provide a potting table with different-sized pots, and plant things. Paint patterns outside with large brushes and water. Set up real problems such as How can we sort out the outdoor-clothing area? Do the longest beans have the most seeds? Try to make a hanging icicle. Play counting games outdoors, set up maths trails, plan large-scale role-play with the children such as a car wash or being on holiday in a tent

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