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Children’s graphics: David and
Isaac in the Nursery
CONTEXT: small group at ‘quiet
time’, exploring the bathroom
children contextualise their
mathematical graphics as they
draw on their existing knowledge.
For example David stood on the
bathroom scales, and looking at its
numbers said, ‘I’m 15, so I need
to write it down’ and made some
letter- and numeral-like signs on
his understanding of a variety of
measuring units, Isaac made rapid
scribble-marks on paper saying,
‘David weighs 700 kilos, he’s 60
metres heavy’ (opposite).
children appeared to sometimes use
scribble-marks as ‘placeholders’ to
denote specific meanings [notable
within their pretend play],
‘suggesting that such rapidly made
marks allow the course of play to
proceed uninterrupted’ (Worthington
and van Oers 2016b). * Children may
also use scribble-marks to signify
writing, an alternative to wavy or
below for reference.
Gallery 7: The emergence of graphic symbols and
texts in pretend play
8: Children's graphic symbols and texts in
Publications - New in 2016:
Worthington, M. and Van Oers, B. (2016)
Pretend Play and the cultural foundations of
mathematics. European Early Childhood Education Research
Journal 24 (1). 51-66.
Worthington, M. and Van Oers, B. (2015)
Children’s social literacies: Meaning making and the
emergence of graphical signs and texts in pretence.
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy 16(1), 1-29.
Courses and Conferences
Courses and Conferences:
Research in Early Childhood (CREC):
MA in Education
(Early Years): Leading Early Years Maths