CMNetwork E-bulletin: January 2009

    © Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

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Wishing everyone a ‘Happy New Year’ for 2009 from the
Children’s Mathematics Network!

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Graphic of the month

John – adding grapes: teacher led group activity

John (5 years 3 months) was adding the grapes that he had selected and put in two small dishes. He decided to represent his ideas on paper. Using a combination of narrative (words), pictures and numerals. He read what he had done: ‘2 grapes, there is two; 4 grapes, there is four’. Finally he wrote the total ‘6’ (on the left).

When children choose to represent ideas to support their mathematical thinking, they choose a graphic response that they feel most comfortable with that suits the maths in which they are engaged. On this day John chose a combination of words, numerals and pictures (code-switching between the different ways of representing) to help him think about this operation.

Early operations: development of children’s own written methods

  • Separating sets and

  • Exploring symbols

See: taxonomy of development

Link to Graphics of Past Months

Welcome to new members:

From The North of England, welcome to Zena Parker pf Grosvenor Community Pre-School, Whitley Bay; from London and the South East, welcome to Matthew Gale of St Benedict's Junior School, Ealing and Claire Gregson from Wivelsfield Primary School, Haywards Heath. From the South and South West, welcome to Tracey Curzon, EY Advisory Teacher from Bath and North East Somerset. From overseas,

welcome to our first member from The United Arab Emirates, Zayed Aljabri, a student teacher from Albahia in Abu Dhabi


Recent and Relevant:

 The Williams Maths Review (DCSF: 2008)

Carruthers, E. and Worthington, M. (2008) 'Children's mathematical graphics: young children calculating for meaning' in I. Thompson, (Ed.) (2008) Teaching and Learning Early Number, Maidenhead: Open University Press, (2nd ed.).

Carruthers, E. (2008) ‘The importance of young children’s mark making: beginnings, context, meanings in mathematics’ The Foundation Stage Forum, (December).

Worthington, M. (2008) 'Playful pedagogy and transitions in children's mathematics', The Foundation Stage Forum, (December).

Mark Making Matters - from the DCSF: 'An analysis of recent Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) results reveals that while children are generally making good progress across the 13 scales of learning and development, achievements are consistently lower in the scales of Writing (particularly for boys), and Calculation. This could undermine their future progress, particularly in the transition from the EYFS to Key Stage 1.

The booklet also explores how an improved understanding of the importance of mark making can strengthen provision for CLL and PSRN. It will illustrate how children's confidence in themselves as writers and as mathematical thinkers, can be promoted through the introduction of children’s mathematical graphics.

Children learn from everything they do, but their development depends, in part, on the quality and range of experiences they have received both in the environment of their setting and at home. Some children have had opportunities to experiment with mark making from their earliest years, while others have had limited experiences for a variety of reasons.' DCSF: The Standards Site (October, 2008).

Teacher Training Resource Bank (ttrb): Play and Learning in Early Education - NEW EVIDENCE On Wednesday 12th November an event was held in the Jubilee Room of the House of Commons organised by TACTYC (Training, Advancement and Co-operation in Teaching Young Children) and the Vicky Hurst Trust, and hosted by Annette Brook MP. The purpose was to share new evidence concerning play and early education which, as the invitation stated, is "an important aspect of children's lives which must feature substantially in the development of policy and practice" (includes Maulfry’s current research on imaginative play).


For 2008 - 2009

Recent reports


 General: Foundation Stage / Primary


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December 2008

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