CMNetwork E-bulletin: November 2008

    © Copyright M. Worthington & E. Carruthers 2012

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>> The Williams Maths Review (DCSF: 2008): 'Mathematical Mark-making’ - find out more >>

>> New! Mark Making Matters (DCSF, October 2008) - to find out more, see below >>

Graphic of the month

Carl's Car Park Tickets - small world play
Carl (4 years and 5 months) had built a ‘car park’ and arranged rows of toy cars inside it. Suddenly he announced ‘You have to have a ticket or you get done!’ Reaching out to a nearby tray of paper, pens and scissors in the small world play area, he wrote his own symbols and then cut out his tiny ‘parking tickets’. He placed each ticket on a car, reading them as he did so: ‘40p, 40p, 40p, 50p, 70p, 80p, 90p’.

Carl’s dad was a lorry driver and Carl knew a lot about road transport. Having ready access to pens and paper triggered further ideas and he went on to make a sign that he read as ‘NO PARKING’; a £50’ sign on one of the cars and a ‘CLOSED’ sign that he put by the entrance to his car park. His play continued for over half an hour and drew several of his friends who joined in. Their talk developed into a discussion about car registration plates (about which Carl was very knowledgeable).

Finally Carl became a salesman, explaining the merits and cost of various vehicles in his car park to his friends and to his teacher who had been observing this rich play.

The development of written number and quantities

  • Early written number

See: taxonomy of development

Link to Graphics of Past Months

Welcome to new members:

From the North of England, welcome to Ingrid Small, Longdendale Pre-school, Mottram. From London and the South East, welcome to Milena Annecchiano, Barnsole Infant School, Gillingham; Desire Avis, Bumble Bears Pre-school, Chatham; Charlotte Berry, Kingfisher Foundation Unit, Kingfisher CP School, Chatham; Louise Bell, Barnsole Infant School, Gillingham; Caroline Bourne, Oaklands Infant and Nursery School, Chatham; Lisa Bracking, Top of The Hill Preschool, Rochester; Kay Bravo, Wayfield Children's Centre, Chatham; Karan Bryant, 2Js Pre-school, Rochester; Debs Carey, Strawberry Fields Day Nursery, Gillingham; Catherine Cave, Boundary Road Pre-school, Chatham; Suzanna Chastney, St Peter's Infant School, Rochester; Sarah Cooke, St Mary's CP School, Gillingham; Stacey Curtis, Warren Wood Primary School, Rochester; Helen Ellis-Adams, Kiddiewinks Preschool, Gillingham; Suzanne Gilbert, Vale Pre-school, Chatham; Carolyn Goosey, Burnt Oak Children's Centre, Gillingham; Sue Gurney, St Michael's R.C. Primary School, Chatham; Donna Hackney, Rainbow Preschool, Rainham: Louisa Hicks, Poppins Nursery and Preschool, Rochester: Michaela James, Delce Infants School, Rochester;  Susan Jarvis, Strood Gospel Mission Pre-school, Rochester; Jill Jones, Busy Builders' Playgroup, Gillingham; Emma Knox, Strawberry Fields Day Nursery, Gillingham; Sally Mallett, The Darland Preschool, Gillingham; Dianne Merrick, Swingate Infant School, Chatham; Debbie Noon, Luton Infant School, Chatham; Emily O'Connor, All Saints CEP Primary School, Chatham; Gemma Robinson, Maundene Primary School, Chatham; Sarah Ryan, Barnsole Infant School, Gillingham; Liliane Shorthouse; Cuxton Community Infants School, Rochester;  Virginia Smith, The Orchard Preschool, Rainham; Jo Starling, Luton Infant School, Chatham; Sue Swindell, Parkwood Preschool, Gillingham; Hannah Taylor, St James's Cof E School, Isle of Grain; Maxine Watson, Kingfisher Foundation stage Unit, Kingfisher CP School, Chatham; Madelene Wine, Burnt Oak Children's Centre, Gillingham. From the South and South West, welcome to Angela Ledbury, Bath Spa University, Bath. And from Wales we would like to welcome Emmajane Milton, Duffryn Infants School, Newport;

New international members

Welcome also to our: from Sri Lanka, welcome to Dileeshaka Thathsara Herath from St Joseph's College, Anuradhapura; from the USA, welcome to Patricia Morris, Chasco Elementary School New Port Richey, Florida and from Zambia, welcome to Tyger Yegambaram, Lotusville Primary School, Durban.


New! 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.).

New! DCSF, (2008) 'Mark Making Matters' , London: DCSF
This publication includes a short section on children's mathematical graphics. It also includes lovely examples of children's drawings and early writing, many of which are from Redcliffe Children's Centre, Bristol. Headteacher Elizabeth Carruthers would especially like to thank Carole Keane, Louise White, Sue Cook, Hugo Turvey and Jeanette Hill for their excellent contributions.
'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).

‘The purpose of this booklet is to make teachers aware of the existence of an active play-based learning environment that children create through the different ways of representing their thoughts and feelings in early years. In this respect, practitioners are offered some tips in order to identify the marks that children symbolically use to carry meaning and to make their thinking visible.’ (Open Training Platform Unesco).

Download Mark Making Matters (DCSF, October 2008) here.


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