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# Learning Numbers in the Early Years Foundation Stage

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Learning Numbers in the Early Years Foundation Stage

Introduction The teaching of Mathematics in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is split into 2 areas: Number, including calculating and problem solving Shape, space and measures

Mathematics It is vital that your child has secure foundations in early mathematics in order to make good progress. Children need to engage with numbers and to see how to use them in their everyday environment for labelling, quantifying and calculating: we want to help them to develop a better understanding of the world in which they live.

When teaching number, there are 2 main parts:
Counting is a significant aspect of children’s early understanding of number and is the foundation on which quantifying and calculating are built. When teaching number, there are 2 main parts: Numbers (amounts) and numerals (the written form) Counting sets (early calculating)

Mathematics in the Nursery Numbers (30-50 months)
This focuses on the development of children’s awareness and understanding of numbers as labels and for telling us ‘how many’.

Mathematics in the Nursery Numbers (30-50 months)
Age months Uses some number names and number language spontaneously. Uses some number names accurately in play. Recites numbers in order to 10. Knows that numbers identify how many objects are in a set. Beginning to represent numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures. Sometimes matches numeral and quantity correctly. Shows curiosity about numbers by offering comments or asking questions. Compares two groups of objects, saying when they have the same number. Shows an interest in number problems. Separates a group of three or four objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is still the same. Shows an interest in numerals in the environment. Shows an interest in representing numbers. Realises not only objects, but anything can be counted, including steps, claps or jumps.

Counting orally- beginning to understand the importance of numbers
Children need to be exposed to counting orally from an early age through number rhymes, counting steps up the stairs and counting aloud to your child. Children then copy this and begin to use numbers in their play, imitating what they have seen and heard other people do. 30-50 months: Uses some number names and number language spontaneously. Uses some number names accurately in play. Recites numbers in order to 10. Knows that numbers identify how many objects are in a set Realises not only objects, but anything can be counted, including steps, claps or jumps

Noticing numbers: recognising some and representing them
It is important to point out numbers within the environment: dates on the calendar, on the clock, prices, birthday cards and so on. Children then begin to recognise numbers which are familiar to them such as their house number and age. This also provides opportunities for children to start representing numbers by making marks, drawing pictures or holding up their fingers to show an amount. 30-50 months: Beginning to represent numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures Shows curiosity about numbers by offering comments or asking questions Shows an interest in numerals in the environment. Shows an interest in representing numbers Sometimes matches numeral and quantity correctly

Beginning to count objects and comparing quantities
Once children begin to understand that numbers tell you ‘how many’ they soon begin to understand the importance of comparing quantities and begin to use the language of ‘more’ and ‘less’ to compare. This is very important if you want ‘more cake’, for example! 30-50 months Compares two groups of objects, saying when they have the same number. Shows an interest in number problems more less

Early calculation Once children have a secure understanding of numbers representing ‘how many’, that objects can be counted and they are able to count objects accurately, early addition and subtraction can be taught. For example, finding out how many cakes are on a tray when 2 have a cherry and 1 is plain OR how many sheep are in the field if 1 runs away. 30-50 months Separates a group of three or four objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is still the same Compares two groups of objects, saying when they have the same number

Mathematics in Reception Numbers 40-60mths
Recognise some numerals of personal significance. Recognises numerals 1 to 5. Counts up to three or four objects by saying one number name for each item. Counts actions or objects which cannot be moved. Counts objects to 10, and beginning to count beyond 10. Counts out up to six objects from a larger group. Selects the correct numeral to represent 1 to 5, then 1 to 10 objects. Counts an irregular arrangement of up to ten objects. Estimates how many objects they can see and checks by counting them. Uses the language of ‘more’ and ‘fewer’ to compare two sets of objects. Finds the total number of items in two groups by counting all of them.

Says the number that is one more than a given number.
Finds one more or one less from a group of up to five objects, then ten objects. In practical activities and discussion, beginning to use the vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting. Records, using marks that they can interpret and explain. Begins to identify own mathematical problems based on own interests and fascinations. Within the age and stage of 40-60mths the expectation does rise for the children and this is where they are expected to begin to add and subtract numbers. This can be done practically using objects, and the correct number sentence would be shown to the children so that they become familiar with the +, - and = signs. Problem solving through play plays an important part of the children’s learning.

Mathematics in Reception Early Learning Goal for Numbers
“Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing”. The Early Learning Goal is the Goal that we aim all children to achieve by the end of the Reception Year. The children are assessed against this goal using a “best fit” criteria; Emerging - which means they have not reached the ELG and are still working at the age and stage of 40-60mths. Expected - which means they have achieved the ELG. Exceeding - which means they are working beyond the ELG.

Keep maths practical and have fun!
Bath-time (filling and emptying containers, counting) Counting rhymes Talk about numbers in the environment (eg, front door numbers, number plates, road signs etc) Help with the cooking (measuring, weighing, ordering the recipe) Setting table places (how many plates/cups etc) Paying in shops (including change) Estimating amounts (how many apples/sweets?)

Useful resources & websites
Games: board games like ‘Snakes and ladders’ card games like snap Bingo dominoes timing children when doing jobs (egg timers) Websites: Explain how the children form physical numberlines to help see their body in space

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