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Welcome to the international Children's Mathematics Network

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Children's early marks often include intentionally made scribble-marks and dots.


• The term ‘scribbles’ is largely used by adults as a derogatory term, suggesting that the person making them, shows lack of care or interest. 

• We identified scribble-marks (and sometimes multiple dots) as one of the earliest means children use to communicate their mathematical thinking.

• We use the term “scribble-marks” to refer to marks that adults would find difficult to interpret without the child’s verbal explanation.

• Within their pretend play, children often use scribble-marks as “shorthand” for writing, seemingly so that the course of their play is not interrupted.


Click here to see examples of scribble-marks and dots.