CMNetwork E-bulletin: June 2017

    © Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

Welcome to your CM Network Bulletin

Where adults value and support children’s own mathematical notations, and where tools and resources for graphicacy are available throughout the setting (indoors and out), children will freely and spontaneously communicate their mathematical thinking using their own signs and representations.

Tim (4 years 1 month) was in the garden, lifting some old fence posts onto a trolley. He spent a lot of time transporting them to another area. His teacher joined him, wondering how many logs he had moved. Tim was too engrossed in what he was doing to reply immediately, but later took a clipboard and pen from the basket outside, drawing circular shapes and other signs across the top of this page. Tim’s teacher watched as he counted the shapes he’d drawn (from left to right) and his teacher asked if she might write the numbers he had said.

When he reached ‘eight’ Tim returned to the beginning to check, counting each shape in turn as he touched them, then continuing to 25 (missing a few of the teen numbers). Next Tim drew four long longs, commenting ‘They’re very lo-o-ong.’ Beneath the first ‘long log’ he wrote some letter-like signs, reading ‘This says ‘do not move my logs and do not park here’. Tim’s experience of physically lifting and moving his logs clearly had an impact, and his decision to represent and communicate this thinking revealed some of his mathematical thinking.


  • Written number and quantities: representing quantities that are counted; early written numerals

Gallery 7: The emergence of graphic symbols and texts in pretend play

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


2013/2016: (ongoing): Collaboration between the BERA Early Years Special Interest Group (SIG) and TACTYC to produce some briefing papers to inform early years policies and practices. This has several parts and, as one document, distribution to all those in government and elsewhere concerned with young children and their early education and care has begun. The papers also incorporate a research agenda to guide future scholarship in the field.

BERA / TACTYC Early Years Policy Advice: Play and Pedagogy. Other sections can be accessed here.

Most Recent publications:

Worthington, M. and Van Oers, B. (2016) Pretend Play and the cultural foundations of mathematics. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 24 (1). 51-66.

Worthington, M. and Van Oers, B. (2015) Children’s social literacies: Meaning making and the emergence of graphical signs and texts in pretence. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy 16(1), 1-29.

Carruthers, E. (2015). Listening to children's mathematics in school. In B. Perry., A. Gervasoni and A. MacDonald. Eds. Mathematics and Transition to School - International Perspectives. Sydney, Australia: Springer.

Courses and Conferences

Courses and Conferences: 2016-2017
Courses and Conferences 2017-2018


National Education News

BBC Education News
Guardian Education News
Independent Education News
Times Education Supplement (TES)


April/May 2017

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