Mathematics

boy and girl play with Outlast blocks by Storage unit

New Outlast point of play storage!

Effective, durable storage is a must for any outdoor area. The new Outlast storage unit crafted from rot resistant Accoya® wood provides a child-safe, convenient space for your Outlast blocks and crates. Additional resources, such as watering cans, sand toys, outdoor mark-making materials or natural loose parts fit too.

 

“The Outlast storage unit is perfect for us as it can be positioned permanently at the point of play,” notes Heather Forsdick, a kindergarten teacher at Herne Hill School. “ It allows the children to access resources while they're playing….. take things out and then put them back as well, which is fantastic.” See how children at Herne Hill School interact with their new Outlast storage unit and blocks in this 3 minute video.

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little boy sawing at the workbench accompanied by a practitioner

Working with wood in the early years

“Anyone who has witnessed young children tinkering away with tools in the woodworking area will know just how magical it can be,” writes Pete Moorhouse. However, despite the magic, many educators are afraid of the perceived risks involved in woodworking and the workbench has all but disappeared from many early years settings. Can this be remedied before we raise a generation of children who have never used a real tool in their life?

 

From his years of experience, Pete shares insights on the value of working with wood. The deep concentration, empowerment, and pride visible in the face of a child constructing with real tools will win over any sceptics. Read more.

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girl stacking Outlast wheels

Maths in the great outdoors

“When you look closely, the everyday living world is intriguing and magical, and full of awe and wonder: think of the excitement when a child finds their first ladybird; how many times as a child did you count the dots on the ladybirds back? Young children feel this need for exploration, discovery and creative learning strongly and we will have done our job if we can help them to retain this throughout their lives, ” writes Michelle Wisbey.

 

Looking for ways to expand the range of mathematical activities in your outdoor environment? Michelle outlines the importance of these activities and provides some suggestions. Read the article.

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boy stacking blocks

Making maths matter

Much attention is being given to encourage maths at younger and younger ages. As practitioners we can feel under pressure; are we giving our children enough opportunities for maths?

 

I recently came across this helpful article by Pradnya Patet. “Children may naturally demonstrate their intuitive knowledge about math in the process of play but mathematical proficiency does not just emerge on its own,” she writes. “Once the teacher has observed and assessed the exploration already happening, they should think about ways to make the children’s investigation more meaningful.”

 

Read the article for practical ideas of how to “add, subtract, multiply, and divide appropriate resources in a way that will encourage the children to problem-solve on their own”

Go-cart

The school where go-carts form the core of the curriculum

Dozens of go-carts were the last thing I expected to find when visiting Trimdon Grange Nursery and Infant School. From the outside the school looked quite ordinary, but stepping inside I was confronted with go-carts constructed from scraps of wood, cardboard and salvaged pram or scooter wheels. The go-cart race next week will be attended by most of the community at this ex-mining village near Durham.

The Head, Catherine Worton, explained how these go-carts formed the core of the curriculum last term for Year 1 and 2. Children experienced how properties of various materials serve particular needs (Science). They learned about wheel and axle mechanisms and electrical circuits (Design technology). The project included instructional and explanatory writing (English) plus measurement of distance and time (Maths). Learning dispositions deepened: motivation, perseverance, and the success of using real tools to achieve satisfying results.

Doesn't it make you want to go back to school?

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