CMNetwork E-bulletin: December 2014

    © Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

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Maulfry was one of several early years maths specialists who were invited to present evidence on mathematics to a group of MPs this year. The resulting document was presented in the House of Commons in Westminster on the 25th November 2014. Speakers included Mick Boles, Minister for Skills and Enterprise and MPs Caroline Dinenage and Barry Sheerman. National Numeracy was invited to support this group.

Remaining to be addressed are the constant changes to curricula and assessment that result in pressures on teachers and practitioners to focus on the basic skills that are assessed through the early learning goals, rather than celebrating and building on children’s existing knowledge and understandings.

CONTEXT: Exploring symbols

Nursery: Ayaan - 4 years 2 Months

1. ‘A cat, here’s a cat. He’s got this’ (making another cross) ’she said. Her teacher wondered if she was thinking of a cat’s whiskers, when drawing red lines.

2. Ayaan was outside with a friend - Ayaan drawing large crosses on a whiteboard. She didn’t say what they were.

3. Ayaan watched as Tariq wrote a ‘T’ for ‘Tariq’, and then getting her own paper she made crosses on it (but without commenting on her marks).

4. Ayaan wrote these signs, reading them as her name. Perhaps she was combining the appearance of some Arabic letters with crosses.

Over a period of several days, Ayaan explored the versatility of graphical symbols, using crosses to signify various meanings.

Children’s increasing interest in the power and role of graphic symbols at this age supports their early writing and mathematical development, whilst cultural knowledge such as initial letters and names may also influenced by learning to write in another alphabet.

Taxonomy: Making meaning in social pretend play and imagination.

  • Exploration with symbols

Gallery 8: Children's graphic symbols and texts in self-initiated contexts.

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November 2014

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