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E2BN Early Years Maths

Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy through stories

Using stories as a starting point for play.

We wished to:

  • promote the use of mathematical language in story telling
  • recognise the breadth of mathematical concepts in story books
  • encourage children to take concepts introduced through stories into the wider environment.
The PowerPoint 'Maths through Stories' lists some of the books we have used and the mathematical experiences that we were able to develop from the stories.

Alongside books we used:

Magnetic story props.

Magnetic story props allow children to re-tell familiar stories in their own words. Being able to remove and replace the pieces makes it easy to compare and contrast the sizes of the objects in different scenes of the story. Children are also able to group and categorise by size or type, for example, collecting all the small objects.

Construction toys.

Construction toys such as Kid K'Nex, offered alongside books and props, give children the opportunity to further extend their play. For example, two girls had said that they wanted to make ‘The 3 Bears' and spent an extended period selecting pieces according to size and then constructing their models.
Through their discussions they demonstrated excellent understanding of comparative size and used mathematical language to describe the shapes of the pieces they would need and how many. They also talked through the sequence they were following to make the second and third bears the same as the first.

Christmas workshop.

A Christmas workshop was set up for the children to wrap and send presents to the 3 bears. A small group helped to make the bears' Christmas lists for children to refer to and a range of toys were set out on an additional table.

Once the children had selected which bear they were going to prepare presents for they were able to wrap them and make labels for delivery.

The wrapping process provided excellent opportunities for estimating and measuring.

As each parcel was wrapped the children made their own labels using ink stamps to indicate the size of the bear that the parcel was to be delivered to.


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