This Week at Red Bus – Mathematics
This week Red Bus Coombe Dingle and Downend have been taking part in lots of activities relating to mathematics!
From a really young age children will respond to size, reacting to items that are both big and very small! The children show interest in filling and emptying containers, and the adults help develop their sense of measure by commenting on the items children are holding – ‘that looks heavy’ etc.
Babies have also been playing with the puzzles and building blocks. At this age children will begin to explore lots of different sizes and shapes of objects, and move them around. They might learn that some shapes will fit inside others, or stack and balance them on a flat surface. Adults will encourage this exploration by role modelling, stacking blocks or rolling a ball towards a child.
Kindergarten have been curious about the space they take up, investigating how they move through the rooms and gardens and attempting to fit themselves in and around objects. They begin to remember their way around familiar environments, going up and around the slides and exploring how things look from different viewpoints – including things that are close up, and far away!
When exploring shapes in Kindergarten, children may begin to select shapes specifically for a space and recognise that two shapes are the same.
When children reach Pre-School age, they begin to count verbally as far as they can go – often touching or pointing to an item as they do. They’ll begin to recognise the numerals 0 to 10, and include them in play – often showing fascination with really large numbers!
Pre-School have also been exploring shapes, discussing the similarities and differences between them – how many points does this one have, or how many sides? The children will even begin to combine and break apart shapes to create new ones!
The adults will help support children by discussing not only the common names for shapes but by providing descriptive language – pointy, wiggly, bumpy etc. They will also talk with the children about choosing specific shapes for a purpose – using a triangle for the roof of a house, or a wedge shape for a car ramp!
Construction play is great for developing spatial awareness, as it encourages children to problem solve. It provides great challenges, such as building bridges, towers and enclosures – how are you going to do that? What happens if it falls over, can we do anything to stop that happening? Through trial and error children can create amazing structures!
Through maths activities Pre-School begin to learn that larger numbers are made up of smaller ones, and may even begin to separate groups of three/four objects in different ways – recognising that the total is still the same.