CMNetwork E-bulletin: May 2008

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Graphic of the month

Louisa’s strawberries

Five year old Louisa was calculating how many strawberries she had altogether in two small dishes. She decided to use some paper and a pen to help her think about the operation, and read this as ‘Two strawberries and four more – altogether there’s six.’

Using words appeared to help her think about the signs ‘+’ and ‘=’ and finally Louisa ate her strawberries!

Early operations: development of early written calculations:

  • Separating sets
  • Exploring symbols
Link to Graphics of Past Months


National Conference

Redcliffe Children's Centre, Bristol: Wednesday May 14th, 2008. National Conference, 'Play, Thinking and Imagination: Understanding Children's Play'.


1 Teachers take ownership of their professional development and inspire children! I enjoyed an inspiring visit to a school in Bristol recently, to see the children’s mathematical graphics in their nursery and Reception classes. It was one of their teachers - Philippa Cook - who founded the Children’s Mathematics Network group in Bristol in January 2007 and I was thrilled to see what they had achieved in such a short time. The value of such a group is that the teachers have ownership of what they do and steer their professional development in ways that relate to their settings and children. Everywhere I turned I saw inspiring examples and children whose mathematical thinking was stretched and challenged. Congratulations to Philippa, Beth and their colleagues – and to their school for supporting and valuing what they have done! The Children’s Mathematics Network is a grassroots network with children and teachers at its heart and we are pleased support teachers and practitioners in any way we can. Would you like to start your own Children’s Mathematics Network group?

2. Thoughts about play in England and the Netherlands: it’s interesting (and sometimes confusing!) that a little word like ‘play’ can be interpreted in many different ways in Early Years settings and schools, and in different countries. The Williams Review - Interim Report:

Welcome to new members:

From London and the South East: welcome to Rachel Chapman, Dorothy Gardner Centre, Westminster; Becci Hutchins, Pools Park Primary School, Finsbury Park and Jenny Washbrook, Jubilee School, Thamesmead. From the Midlands, welcome to Kath Clark, Cherry Trees Nursery School, Bedford and Dawn Brown from Kingsfield Primary School, Bidulph, Staffordshire.

The following items have been added to the website this month:

We would like to encourage you to contribute to some of our online discussions! We share the concern of many in that in England the curriculum become increasingly formal from Year 1. We’ve added a new discussion thread 'How far should the Foundation stage go?' Please contribute your views!


April 2008

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