The Language of Maths

The Butterfly Wings

International Year of Maths of Planet Earth

theme for September

is

THE LANGUAGE OF MATHS



(Find this at NO TIME FOR FLASHCARDS)

LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF MATHS

Play is the natural way in which children learn.. At Butterfly Wings we are big advocates for play!  Play is how children explore, investigate and learn about their world.  Young children are learning maths all the time through a wide variety of play experiences. From birth babies relate to shapes and how they make up the world - especially the shapes of the human face.  As the child grows and plays with concrete objects and goes about daily life, there are many opportunities to share the language of maths with them.  Think about the words IN and OUT.  IN the bath, OUT of the bath.  IN the car seat, OUt of the car seat.  IN the high chair, OUT of the HIGH chair. What can you relate these mathematical words to - big, small, heavy, light, up, down, empty, full, long, short, high and low?  How about in front of, behind, in and on?  AND how about every young child's favourite word - MORE?


Up HIGH and IN the box!!


Children also learn language through repetition, interaction, and participation in rhymes and songs.  Slowly and at different rates, children will start to chant and perform  rhymes with their carer, developing early language skills. All the words highlighted in red in the following rhyme, are mathematical language which will be useful when your child participates in a more formal education.  Using a multisensory approach helps the child to remember the mathematical vocabulary as it is meaningful and the rhyme is lots of fun!!

 The Butterfly Wings Rhyme this month is all about 

ROUND and ROUND!

 

ROUND AND ROUND THE GARDEN

Round and round the garden

Like a teddy bear

One step, two steps

And….tickle you under there!

Traditional


Birth to six months: (baby lying on the floor or on a rug) Using firm but gentle finger touch go round and round on the infant’s tummy ensuring full eye contact.  “Step” on to the infant’s arms or legs and gently tickle them at the end.  Great rhyme for nappy changing time.

Six months to 5+ years: Hold the child’s hand and using firm but gentle finger touch,  go ‘round and round’  the palm.  ‘Step’ up the arm and finish off with a tickle under the arms.  Use both hands and even the soles of the feet for this rhyme. You can always delay the last sentence of the rhyme to create immense excitement and anticipation at what is coming next.


Some more ROUND and ROUND rhymes for you - 

Round and round the haystack

Like a little mouse

One step, two steps

Into its little ………house!

Round and round the flowers

Like a bumble bee

Once round, twice round

And a tickle here from me!

An interesting article about the misconceptions early childhood teachers in the United States have about mathematics teaching has been reprinted by Early Childhood Australia.

 “Mathematics education is, in part, education in language and literacy.  Children learn to speak, read and write the language of mathematics in order to communicate mathematical ideas.  From the age of about two years children learn the language and grammar of counting.  They memorise the first 10 or so counting words, which are essentially nonsense syllables with no underlying structure or meaning and then learn a set of rules to generate the higher numbers.  Young children also learn other kinds of mathematical language like the names of shapes – such as square – and words for quantity – bigger, less.  Indeed some of these words (such as ‘more’) are among the first words spoken by many babies.  As children grow they expand their vocabulary and mathematical concepts embedded in it……….”
 

USING PICTURE BOOKS TO ASSIST IN DEVELOPING MATHEMATICAL IDEAS

The Butterfly Wings Team would like to encourage families and early years educators to use oral stories and picture books as a starting point to develop mathematical ideas and to play with mathematical concepts.

 We would like to:

  • promote the use of mathematical language in story telling and picture books
  • recognise the breadth of mathematical concepts in picture books
  • encourage children to take concepts introduced through stories into the wider environment.
  •  Ref: Early Years Maths

 THE BUTTERFLY WINGS RECOMMENDED PICTURE BOOK FOR SEPTEMBER is

‘GOING ON A BEAR HUNT’ by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury
 

"Follow the family's excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of the bear. What a surprise awaits in the cave on the other side of the dark forest."

This book modelled on an American Camp Fire chant, is full of mathematical language!  
Below are some examples that you will find highlighted in red:

Long wavy grass

 

Go under it

Go over it

Got to go through it

 

1 shiny black nose

2 big furry ears

2 big goggly eyes
 

Back through the cave

Up the stairs

Into the front door

Into the bedroom

Into bed

Under the covers   

Have a go at retelling this chant actively encouraging your child to “walk” through the long wavy grass, go through the squelchy mud etc.  This will be a multisensory retelling of the story which will really help to increase your child’s vocabulary and the language of maths.  

Watch Michael Rosen retell “Going on a bear hunt” – we are sure you will be inspired to have a go at storytelling (without the book) after watching this!

AND perhaps you would like to watch a cute animated version of the Bear Hunt chant 

 

SQUIDOO has lots of great  “Going on a Bear Hunt” activities!
So does ROCKABYE BUTTERFLY and  LEARNING 4 KIDS!  

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS TO SHARE WITH US?  
IF YOU DO, GO TO OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.  
WE LOVE ALL THE NEW AND EXCITING THINGS HAPPENING
IN EARLY CHILDHOOD! 

  

Most of all don't forget to have fun and enjoy this precious time!