According to the National Center For Excellence in Mathematics teaching (NCETM - UK), there are six main areas that together underscore children’s early mathematical learning. Teaching these well secures the firm foundations for future mathematics. Once established, children will thrive as they go through each year group in primary school.
What are these areas?
- Cardinality and Counting: understanding that the cardinal value of a number refers to the quantity or ‘howmanyness’ of things it represents.
- Comparison: understanding that comparing numbers involves knowing which numbers are worth more or less than each other.
- Composition: understanding that one number can be made up from (composed from) two or more smaller numbers.
- Pattern: looking for and finding patterns helps children notice and understand mathematical relationships.
- Shape and Space: understanding what happens when shapes move, or combine with other shapes, helps develop wider mathematical thinking.
- Measures: comparing different aspects such as length, weight and volume, as a preliminary to using units to compare later.
How Early Years children develop mathematical thinking.
How do young children (Reception age and below) develop their early mathematical thinking? How do those teaching them help the children build a platform of understanding? And where does maths fit into the wider picture of childhood development? Two experts in the field explain.
Taking part in the discussion are:
- Dr Sue Gifford, Mathematics Education Department, Roehampton University
- Viv Lloyd, NCETM Assistant Director, Primary and Early Years Mathematics
- Steve McCormack, NCETM Communications Director
07:48 - Comparison
10:38 - Cardinality
14:18 - Subitising
18:38 - Conservation
20:38 - Composition
24:18 - Pattern
26:28 - Shape and Space
27:53 - Measures
31:38 - Where maths fits in with other early learning
The development of early mathematics as a predictor for future success.
Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2012