In recent years the Scottish Government has identified a drop in maths skills in school age children all over the country. The previous drive in schools has been towards helping children become more literate but recently there has been a large focus on maths and raising the standards in schools to help support children develop mathematical and problem solving skills.
“Efforts to drive maths attainment in schools and refocus Scotland’s attitude to maths learning are being stepped up” – Scottish government
Read, write, count aims to improve literacy and numeracy attainment in school age children.
Children need to have a good solid foundation of basic mathematical skills before progressing onto harder and more abstract problems. Keeping learning concrete for as long as possible is key to early learning. Children need to physically see what they are counting.
We should begin to count with children and point out numbers as soon as we can. If children are aware of numbers/numerals and counting from a young age it will become a more natural part of their learning.
In our house we are always counting things out, highlighting numerals, identifying colours and using positional language so that Little Bee is used to these concepts and the language used around mathematics. He may not understand what some things mean but just using the language around him helps build the foundations for strong mathematical skills and knowledge.
Here’s some of the things we do:
- Count the stairs, count fingers and toes.
- Look at the numerals on the remote control when changing the TV.
- Pointing out the colour of things.
- counting songs/rhymes.
- Pointing out the numbers in books. Either the page numbers or numbers in the text or illustrations.
- Counting objects and toys during play.
- counting down from 10 to anticipate an event.
- Pointing out measurements when cooking or baking.
- Looking at numerals on toys and games.
- Playing games to highlight positional language (“the train is on top of the table… no, its now under the table… oh off it goes, its behind the bookshelf now”)
- Looking at environmental print when we’re out and about – traffic signs, shop signs, posters etc
- Pointing out prices at the supermarket and in shops.
These are just some of the things we do everyday with Little Bee in order to help his knowledge and understanding but the possibilities are endless!
Flourishing Little Mind