When he was playing, Tommy (4 years: 10
months) chose to copy the numbers on a ‘hundred square’ on the door
of the classroom. He was very engrossed in what he was doing and
carefully copied the numbers to ‘60’. He then drew a hamster by the
numeral ‘1’; and drew himself by the numeral ‘4’. Finally he drew an
elephant next to the number ‘60’.
The previous day Tommy’s class had been
for a visit to the zoo. When he showed his teacher what he had done,
he explained that hamsters don’t live very long and that he was four
years old, finally adding ‘elephants live a long time’.
Tommy had made a significant step in
relating his knowledge about ages and animals’ life expectancies.
He had combined his knowledge with what he had just learnt at the
zoo and devised his own system of labelling.
The development of
written number and quantities:
taxonomy of development