© Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

April 2006

A response for the Consultation for the Review of National Numeracy Strategy’s framework has been sent from the Children’s Mathematics Network. Our response focused on children’s experiences of early ‘written’ mathematics, the guidance on the pedagogy to support this and assessment of children’s written mathematics.

We have emphasized the need for continuity through from Birth to Three Matters; the Foundation Stage Curriculum and the National Numeracy Strategy.

Click here for March 2006 news

At a time when there is currently such concern about teaching ‘synthetic phonics’ to young children in England, examples of graphics such as Molly’s (see right) are particularly relevant to the debate about young children making meaning. Children’s early emergent writing and mathematical graphics are related and grow from their early explorations with pens and paint when drawing. John Matthews has identified a range of early marks which he refers to as ’generational marks’ (Matthews, 1999 & 2003) which occur in their mathematical graphics too.

Graphic of the month

Molly’s numbers

Molly (3 years and 11 months) made what Marie Clay identified as ‘letter-like’ marks which were written from left to right (Clay, 1975). We would add that they are also ‘number-like’.

Molly referred to her numbers as ‘seven, six and number eight’.

Clay, M. (1975) What did I write? London: Heinemann.

Matthews, J. (1999) The Art of Childhood and Adolescence: the Construction of Meaning. London: Falmer Press.

Matthews, J. (2003) Drawing and Painting: Children and Visual Representation. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

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