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E2BN Early Years Maths

Children's learning journeys

Here is one example of two children's PSRN learning Jouneys. Download the attached files below to see more recorded learning journeys.

Zack and Stephanie's Ladder Story

Today, at Nursery school, Zack takes his turn on the ladders.  He moves them to explore the top of the bicycle shed,... and much, much more.  Eventually Stephanie joins him and they talk about what they notice during their explorations of the nursery garden, at this new and clearly exciting height.

Stephanie: (climbing up her ladder) I can see the leaves. Zack: We' re going to mend the gutter.

Zack: Mrs Babouris, how do you get those out (tacks in the shed roof). Mrs Babouris explains. But how do you get them out? Mrs Babouris then talks about how to use the claw hammer.

Stephanie: The birds are tweeting high in the sky. Zack: But we can't reach that sky because our ladders are too small.

Stephanie: (singing) I'm going up my ladder.
Zack: I'm going to make a new roof. Take the tacks out, you have to get what special tool?... (Then, answering his own question)... a claw hammer.
Stephanie: (looking up at the dark clouds in the sky), it's starting to rain.
Zack:  It's dark.

A little while latter another child comes to have their turn on the ladders, and Stephanie generously hands her ladder to him, explaining, It's your turn now, I'm going to put the sand timer on, in order to wait for another turn and following the 'official rules' of how to get a turn at the nursery. Watching this child climb up, Zack remarks: I hope he stays safe... Then, looking directly up into the hanging tree branches, That tree looks poorly because it doesn't like to rain, look the branches are going down.

After moving his ladder to the potting shed,Zack continues with his explorations; What's this for? 

Mrs Babouris explains it's the hook to keep the door open...he struggles to make sense of this as the metal eyelet, it hooks into, is not apparent...so he is left confused.

Mrs Babouris sees the confusion and points out the hidden eyelet, but how does it go as it clearly doesn't reach. Mrs Babouris explains that you have to open the door for it to reach. Can you show me?

The next day Zack is seen up his ladder again, continuing his exploration of this new height level of the nursery garden. A different perspective of his known world has suddenly opened up to him, and he is very much drawn to this new frontier.

Mathematical opportunities, in parallel to language opportunities, can be found everywhere, and often the children will initiate their own learning for adults then to pick up on, and extend appropriately.  Adult interactions are completely crucial.  Sometimes, it is necessary to 'listen in', without 'interfering'.

The children were:

  • using estimation and prediction; it's starting to rain / we can't reach the sky, our ladders are really small
  • making comparison of objects; height of sky, height of ladders/hammer and claw hammer/dark (rain sky to earlier bluer sky)/ thirsty tree with branches hanging down (to other trees)
  • exploring objects from different dimensions and view points, showing  interest and spatial awareness, building mental map of objects by exploring, touching asking questions and by wondering how things connect to one another; hinge, eyelet, door of potting shed
  • classifying; claw hammer, eye, hook, screws.
  • Using mathematical language in play.

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