Numeracy: More than counting!
Numeracy development happens every day in every room at Guardian. Working in close partnership with families, our educators embed numeracy into daily life helping to maintain a continuation of learning from home to centre.
From the use of open ended resources, to making real world connections to numeracy, to projects and experiments that incorporate numeracy concepts, children are consistently developing their numeracy skills at Guardian!
What numeracy looks like at Guardian
Numeracy development is supported in a wide variety of ways at our centres. These include:
- Resources including open ended materials
- Internal and external environments
- Projects and daily experiences
- Educator relationships and engagement
- Visible documentation throughout the centre
- Working in partnership with families
- Open ended resources encourage children to recognise and play with patterns
- Counting during the day to make it meaningful for children eg. how many beds do we need today?
- Numeracy and maths concepts are used in everyday language, routines and play
- Numeracy is entrenched in children’s thinking process: children incorporate counting into their own learning independently
- Educators encourage children to solve their own problems and use real world examples to create meaningful connections
- Open ended materials are provided to allow children to engage with, recognise and recreate patterns
- Project and experiments encourage children to work with time concepts (tomorrow, this afternoon, last week etc) and calendars
- Children recognise numbers in their environment and want to know how to write and use them in their everyday life
- Using numbers daily children quickly learn the skill that a number represents real objects – how many blocks make their tower
- Using more complex materials, children engage with, copy and create patterns, and group according to similarities and order of size and/or length
- Loose parts help children to develop other maths concepts such as comparing, parts and wholes, measurement of temperature, time, weight, volume and length and knowledge of shapes
The numeracy journey
From the very beginning we are developing numeracy skills in children. This is done through using concepts in everyday language, routines and play. For example, we will count with children how many beds we need that day or count little fingers and toes. We also count during the day to make it meaningful for children – it’s not just about rote learning numbers!
By providing open ended resources, our educators encourage these to be used in a variety of different ways to help develop numeracy skills. While using these materials, children are discovering concepts like big, small, tall, short, volume, numbers, pattern-making and counting. Through conversation we ask many questions and afford children the time to reflect on these and acknowledging their ways of communicating.
For toddlers, learning maths concepts becomes more complex and are entrenching maths in their thinking process, incorporating counting into their own learning independently. Children also start to relate numbers to themselves eg. “I am two and he is littler than me” or “I am taller/bigger than her” – this is demonstrating they are beginning on understand comparison, scale, age and volume in real terms.
At Guardian we offer a wide variety of open ended materials to engage with, recognise and recreate patterns – Pattern making is an important part of numeracy development as it encompasses many areas including critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and representing patterns they see in their environment and translating it into a representational form.
Kindergarten and preschoolers
In the year leading up to formal schooling, children have begun to recognise numbers in their environment and want to know how to write and use them in their everyday life. Educators ensure numbers are used in every day experiences to create more meaningful learning around numeracy. Using numbers daily, children quickly learn the skill that a number represents real objects eg. how many blocks make their tower.
Open ended resources help children to develop other maths concepts such as comparing, parts and wholes, measurement of temperature, time, weight, volume and length and knowledge of shapes. Children are aware that numbers have numerical sequence and are understanding maths concepts including bigger/smaller/heavier/lighter.