The importance of maths in early years
I found this article an interesting read on the value of mathematical experiences in early years. The idea that out of a 6 hour day American pre-schoolers are exposed to only 58 seconds of maths is quite astounding. I’m confident that in Scotland we are doing far better than that. In our setting maths concepts are embedded everywhere from counting how many children are present and comparing that to how many chairs and cups we need for snack. We weigh and measure when we bake, we match colours and contrast size and weight. In the woods this week we were directly experiencing the size and weight of stones we were throwing in the water and the height of the splashes they made! We tried to work out what was the tallest tree, we compared colours and shapes of flowers and leaves.
I tend to agree that we perhaps place more emphasis on the need for literacy in early years with schemes like Bookbug and Play, Talk and Read. I’m certain however that, in practice, maths concepts are just as deeply embedded.
“Learn by play” has become a cliché, but it’s also become one of the most controversial subjects around the world among educational researchers and academics. Have you ever stopped to watch how children interact/engage with their toys? Which toys do they enjoy playing with most. Which ones last the longest? Which ones are always recycled […]