These are exciting times in early years maths! Brain research is advancing our knowledge of how we learn about mathematical concepts, even when and why we make mistakes. The findings challenge formal methods of teaching and strengthen the case for experiential, play-based learning.
To make sense of number, space, shape and measure, children have to ‘do’ maths – using their bodies and their minds – and in the right rich and supportive enabling environment, they can sidestep ‘maths anxiety’ to become part of a generation of confident maths learners.
9.45-10.00 Maths in the EYFS: an introduction
Unpicking the early years goals to establish key concepts and language within early maths.
Speaker: Linda Pound, early years consultant, author and maths specialist
10.00-10.45 Understanding maths: essential skills
For children to become confident and enthusiastic maths learners, practitioners need to address the skills that underpin mathematical thinking and learning. These are guessing (or estimating), identifying and creating pattern, problem-solving (and finding), and moving towards abstract thinking (through visualising, spatial reasoning, representing and playing).
Speaker: Linda Pound
10.45-11.15 Maths on the move
How we engage body and mind in mathematical learning, and the implications for early years practice.
Speaker: Anne O’Connor, early years consultant, trainer and writer, specialising in physical development
11.30-12.30 Enabling Environments: creating confident maths learners
Strategies for supporting early maths learning, including:
- Big World maths outdoors
- Giving children a sense of ownership of their resources and learning, and
- Understanding mistakes and the neuroscience of how to respond to them
Speaker: Tom Weaver, programme lead for BA Early Years Education (QTS), University of Northampton, senior lecturer in early years maths