Last June, my setting was fortunate enough to play host to Derek Haylock (an education consultant and author; he worked for over 30 years in teacher education and was Co-Director of Primary Initial Teacher Training, responsible for the mathematics components of the primary programmes at the University of East Anglia in Norwich) whilst he collected observations for the new edition of the popular mathematical education book “Understanding Mathematics for Young Children”.
Review to follow.
“In this indispensable book, the authors help teachers understand mathematical concepts and how children come to understand them, and show how to develop your own confidence with mathematical activities.
Each chapter of this book includes:
– real-life examples and illustrations from children and teachers;
– the research behind some of the concepts and teaching approaches discussed;
– pauses to reflect and discuss your own mathematical knowledge and experience;
– age-appropriate classroom activities to try with your class or group.
This is an essential student text and professional reference work for teachers of children aged 3 to 8 years.”
Derek’s blog post following the visit can be found here.
“On Tuesday I spent half a morning at the [PRE-SCHOOL], on the North Norfolk coast. The main reason for the visit was to talk to Kate Oakley who runs the pre-school and who had some interesting observations to share on the ways in which children in the age range 3 to 5 years engage with mathematics. It was a delight to spend some time with the children as well. It was particularly intriguing and exciting to see how much mathematics they were doing informally through play within a suitably prepared and relaxed environment. The staff let the the younger children take their play in whatever direction they choose but then ensure that opportunities for learning arise by the provision of resources and by focussed conversations and questions.
Here’s an example of one my observations. One 4-year-old girl was walking around on ‘stilts’ – standing on a couple of upturned buckets with strings that she could pull on to keep them in place under her feet. We were looking at the scale on the wall for measuring the children’s height, and she hobbled over to join us. Standing against the wall on her ‘stilts’ she was able to talk about the fact that her height had increased. In this way she was getting an early experience of the key idea of ‘increasing’, which later on she will learnt to connect with counting on and the concept of addition.”