CMNetwork E-bulletin: July 2011

    © Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

Welcome to your CM Network E-bulletin Maulfry, Editor

Understanding Children’s Mathematical Graphics: Beginnings in Play

The example below is included in chapter 4 of our new book.

Kyran’s drawing of his mummy (nursery)

Commenting on this drawing, Kyran said‘ she’s got funny hands!’

Developing from the ‘generational structures’ that John Matthews identified (1999), children are influenced by signs that have strong visual impact and distinct cultural uses in their culture. They make choices and decisions about the symbols they use to encode and communicate specific meanings and some of these become signs that others understand and accept.

It appears that some of the most powerful signs that young children use include zigzags, crosses and arrows.

Other examples include children who used crosses to represent an aeroplane; to emphasize ‘No! Keep out!’; to signify ‘shop closed’; to identify someone who has lost in a ball game; as kisses on a birthday card and to signify items on a shopping list.

In communicating mathematical ideas, individuals used crosses to identify peers’ choices (data handling); to cross out items (denoting subtraction) and later as an addition sign. This flexibly also supports understanding of standard abstract signs such as ‘x’ (as a letter and as a multiplication sign); letter ‘T’ and ‘t’ and the numeral ‘4’.

Kyran - making meanings with marks: explorations with symbols

See also: Gallery 4: CM Graphics of Past Months and Gallery 5: Beginnings in Play

New Members

From the South and South-west, of England, welcome to Samantha Collins from Curledge Street Primary School, Paignton; welcome to Krystyna Wood from Torfield Special School, Hastings, East Sussex, from London and the South East. We’d like to also welcome a new member from India, m4maths, Seo, from Delhi University, Delhi.

Become a member

Just out! Carruthers, E. and Worthington, M. (2011) Understanding Children's Mathematical Graphics: Beginnings in Play. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Courses and Conferences

Courses and Conferences: 2010-2011

Current Education News

BBC Education News
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Times Education Supplement (TES)


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