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E2BN Early Years Maths

30-50 months


  • Compare two groups of objects, saying when they have the same number
  • Show an interest in number problems
  • Separate a group of three or four objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is still the same

Observation 1

Sophie was playing with the soft toy Jelly Babies. She collected all the jelly babies from the box.  She matched up the colours of each Jelly Baby and sorted them into rows.  She then lined up the rows more accurately, as she did this she realised there were more red ones than yellow ones. "There's more red than yellow". She found another yellow one and added it to the row so that there was the same amount of reds and yellows.  She went on to line up the green and brown Jelly Babies.  She realised that there were the same amount of red, yellow and brown, but needed one more green one so they all had the same amount.  "Has anyone got a green jelly baby? We need one more"

Comments: Sophie was comparing groups of objects and knew when they were the same number. She was able to use one-to-one correspondence to calculate how many were missing from a group to make each group an equal number.

Observation 2

Leon was playing alongside two other children. Leon laid the ducks out in a line with the die next to the ducks. Leon began to roll the die; he counted the spots on the die and then counted out the appropriate number of ducks. Leon then passed the die to the next child. He ensured that the children playing could count the number of spots on the die and that they moved the correct number of ducks, he also managed the turn taking aspect of the game.

Comments: Leon made up his own game and separated out a group of ducks from the main group, this can be seen as early 'taking-away' or 'subtraction'. Leon shows a strong interest in number problems, which he solves with accuracy, and confidently teaches his peers to do the same. 'Children should be provided with opportunities to develop their use of mathematical ideas and methods to solve practical problems' EYFS.