Mumsnet Talk

Numeracy/Maths in YR

(22 Posts)
allyfe Sun 08-Dec-13 20:58:12

I was just wondering how numeracy/Maths normally work in YR. There is so much focus on Reading, which I don't have a problem with, but I've kind of been wondering what happens with numeracy.

But with Maths, she seems to have done pretty much nothing. She was at a Montessori pre-school and so she actually got quite into the maths. She was doing simple addition and subtraction and was learning 3D shapes. So nothing massively advanced, but she just had more exposure than some children. However, I don't get the I impression that there is any differentiated learning when it comes to numeracy, and so she has been doing numbers 1-10 and basic shapes. My daughter asked me a number of weeks ago when they were going to do Maths stuff at school. She likes learning (her words), so I was just wondering what we could expect.

I realise it will be different in different schools, but I was wondering if this is this how it normally works?

Thanks!

Flicktheswitch Sun 08-Dec-13 21:08:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allyfe Sun 08-Dec-13 21:12:57

Flicktheswitch does she do all of that in school? It's not so much what children can do that I'm on about, it is what they are doing in the classroom. I get the impression that different ability is less explicitly catered for. I was just wanting to know what other parents/teacher's experience was.

Sun 08-Dec-13 21:14:01

Blimey @ Flick's DD.

At this point in yrR last yr DS was:
recognising numbers 1-30
writing and saying numbers up to 20,
chanting them in groups,
counting to 100
bit of shape recognition

Stuff like counting in 5s or 2s came much later in the yr.

I want to think DS is a bit below avg in math but they tell me he's on target. Now in yr1 he is doing number bonds and +/- 2, doubles up to 10. About the same as older siblings did at same point. I sat in on many math lessons, so I know what's pretty normal at our school.

Flicktheswitch Sun 08-Dec-13 21:45:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allyfe Sun 08-Dec-13 21:48:47

Useful to know Flick. Thank you. My DD hasn't even done addition and subtraction. It is so frustrating how wide the differences are in the quality of the education experience.

lilyaldrin Sun 08-Dec-13 21:59:57

The Maths goals for the end of YR are:

Numbers:
Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, space and measure:
Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

How they get there will depend on the individual teacher/school.

JustOneMoreBite Sun 08-Dec-13 22:17:50

DD1 is in Reception and these are the objectives they've apparently been working on for this half term:

I can estimate how many objects I can see and check by counting

I can instantly recognise the number of objects in a group without the number being displayed (ie. Dot cards/dice)

I can select the correct numeral to represent a collection of objects

I can begin to relate addition to combining two groups of objects and subtraction to ‘taking away’

I can use the vocabulary for adding and subtracting (add, plus, take-away, subtract, altogether, is the same as, equals, etc.)

I can sort a collection of objects and say how they have been sorted

I can use language to describe the shape and size of flat shapes (2-D shapes)

I can order 2 or more items by weight or capacity

I can measure short periods of time in simple ways

Fuzzymum1 Sun 08-Dec-13 23:17:04

There is little written maths in reception, it's all activity based. I work in a mixed Reception/year one class - all of the class do the carpet activity - counting in twos, fives and tens, 2d and 3d shapes, comparing length etc then the Year ones go on to do some book work and the reception children continue learning through play - recently while talking about whole and half turns we played with Beebots, when talking about halving we got them to roll out playdough, use a cutter to make a circle then cut it in half with a knife. It's very much play based or practical activities that we record through photographs in their journals.

PastSellByDate Tue 10-Dec-13 12:12:47

Hi allyfe:

I think lljkk's list was closer to our experience - but will say that writing out the names of numbers (so eight) was actually never done at our school - Year R would have been too early for my DDs - but it should be learned in KS1 I think.

---------

Year R is technically still under the Early Years Foundation Skills Framework: media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/eyfs%20statutory%20framework%20march%202012.pdf

which for numeracy says:

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop
and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers,
calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures. (p5)

and page 9 goes on to describe details for maths goals:

Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number.

Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems.

They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

-----------------------------

So you should be working early in YR (and that is this stage) on being able to count to 20 (maybe higher)

Maybe being able to add one digit numbers to numbers up to 10 (knowing your number facts to 10)

Maybe being able to take 1 digit numbers from 10.

A lot of this can be done with piles of things: raisins, Lego blocks, baked beans, smarties....

So have 6 smarties (for example) in one pile and 3 smarties in another - how many smarties do we have all together? count up - or maybe add in jumps 6+1 = 7 and 7 + 2 = 9.

Games like snakes and ladders are really good practice for counting on (you can make it trickier by playing with two dice and asking that they don't count just by 1s but by 2s or 3s or 5s - when they're ready).

-

Adding and subtracting 2-digit numbers is tricky and I think needs to include explaining place value (so that in the number 18 - the 1 is the tens column and = 1 ten and the 8 is in the units column and = 8 units). I found that this was essential for DD1 to understand how subtraction (and borrowing) works. So we played visual games with grapes = tens and raisins = units.

so 11 - 9 becomes one grape and one raisin (on one plate) take away nine raisins (which you'll put on another plate as you take them away). Gosh we don't have enough raisins do we - we can't take 9 from 1 - so we'll have to cash in our grape (our ten) for 10 raisins. Now we have 11 raisins - so let's count off the 9 (let's put them on this plate) 11 - 9 leaves just 2 raisins on our first plate so 11 - 9 = 2.

It is really helpful if as you're learning to add you work on all the ways to make numbers (not just 10 or 20, but how to make 4, 5, 6, 17, etc...) so that your child really understands number patterns.

----------

Shape/ weight/ measure can be done by having your DC help you cook. Even something as simple as measuring out water to boil helps then learn to understand what 1L or 500ml looks like.

--------

names of common 2D geometric shapes and maybe some 3D shapes (sphere, cylinder, cube) are really helpful. If you have a shape puzzle - you can talk about the shapes or tangrams is good for this.

------------------------

A lot of this was done in Year R for both my DDs through sending home maths games that worked on these areas and there were also regular drop-in maths workshops.

Finally I will say that a lot depends on the age of your child. My DDs were both closer to 5 or 5 by this point and hadn't progressed far on any of this - so I was starting to worry at this stage - if that's any help. My advice is keep a watchful eye, try and do a bit at home, but don't start to worry until Year 1. If addition/ subtraction aren't happening at all in Year 1 - ask questions. We waited another year on this for DD1 (didn't want to cause problems) and do kind of regret doing that.

HTH

PastSellByDate Tue 10-Dec-13 12:17:07

Oh allyfe

I just remembered a lovely game we played (it was a YR homework) where we had to go around the kitchen and find triangles, squares, circles and rectangles. DD2 had a thing about wanting 10 each - so we were measuring books to make sure they were square (couldn't just say so according to DD2) and taking pictures of all the shapes for her homework book.

You could do something similar (maybe without the scrapbook of kitchen shapes).

Tue 10-Dec-13 13:15:01

One of the reasons the UK does badly in PISA tests is KNOWN to be that formal learning starts too early.
some of them are only just 4 FFS
let them play

PastSellByDate Tue 10-Dec-13 13:56:12

Talkinpeace:

Although I take your point 4 is young - why do you presume that learning to count, learning shapes or learning about measurement is not fun for children?

Including maths at a fairly rudimentary level as part of a playing/ discovering curriculum (which I think is what EYFS is meant to be) is age appropriate and isn't hugely out of step with what is going on in nursery schools in the US/ Germany/ Canada/ Australia (where I have relations/ good friends with young children).

For my part, I just copied an extract from the government guidance - and point out that at my DD's school they learned this EYFS curriculum through playing games (we never once had a formal problem - i.e. 11 - 4). I think the games were great - but the lack of working with written maths (which was not introduced until late Y2) did present problems for DD1 (Autumn birthday) and I think holding off or letting them 'discover maths for themselves' has its problems as well.

Tue 10-Dec-13 13:59:56

pastby
the EYFS is in itself fine
but its amusing to see on the primary threads, alternating
"4 is too young to start school, can I defer"
with
"child is not getting pushed enough in year R"

it just shows that all educationalists are between a rock and a hard place
and indeed, other countries may call it "nursery" when we call it "school" but kids are learning darn near the same thing
just without the insanity of Gove style measurement every five minutes

Cat98 Tue 10-Dec-13 14:58:46

Ds is in year 1 and is very able in maths. This was spotted early in year R and he was catered for very well throughout the year. His teacher gave me some basic examples of how she differentiated in numeracy lessons - for example she would have the children say a number lower than 10 and higher than 5, but she would ask ds for a number lower than 371 but higher than 363 etc
Also they had a lesson where they were separating objects into groups of 2s, ds would be doing groups of 3s and 4s.
He came on very well and is now doing year 3 work in year 1. So it is very possible to differentiate and a good teacher should be able to ime.

Re letting them play - yes of course but certainly here in Wales the early years and ks1 are all about learning through play. Very little formal stuff. Ds loves his school activities and they don't make them carry on with anything longer than they are happy to - they certainly didnt in reception anyway.

allyfe Tue 10-Dec-13 15:54:21

Talkinpeace - the thing is that learning and play don't have to be different. The question is about Maths, but that doesn't have to be formal learning. And, it all depends on what a child likes to do. My daughter asked me a few weeks ago if they were going to do Maths stuff. She rather likes number games (she used to play them at pre-school, never with us). My daughter also announced the other week that she likes learning. My ideal for education is that learning should always be fun. I would abolish times-tables and stuff like that. Who cares. The point is more that she is having to do stuff that she has already learnt, and so it isn't massively interesting for her. I want her to love school because it is fun. Not to get a bit bored because the 'games' are a bit dull.

Tue 10-Dec-13 16:47:59

DS is being pushed plenty hard, he just isn't that able! As he is DC4 I know the material he's exposed to (mostly verbal or visual, agreed) is about what the others had, even though they were naturally much more able and in themselves could take it further.

There are lots of math games things you can do (online or purchase) to take them further, if you want.

JodieGarberJacob Tue 10-Dec-13 16:55:52

School should be an interesting place to be, I don't think it needs to be 'fun'.

Marmitelover55 Tue 10-Dec-13 16:57:02

I think learning times tables is actually very important. DD1 is in year 7 and doing lots of work on adding and subtracting fractions and I had forgotten how crucial knowing your tables are for this.

allyfe Tue 10-Dec-13 19:49:36

I never had to learn mine and have managed quite well :D I think that for some children learning them can be a bit of a painful process. Although for others, no problem at all.

I don't think that interesting and fun need to be different I think it is partly down to the interpretation of the various words - play, learning, interesting, fun. Ultimately I'd say most people (in the world of MN at least) are actually after roughly the same thing - children who love school and who are inspired by learning and knowledge. That is all I want.

Thanks all for your comments and suggestions. PastSellByDate, thanks so much for taking the time to add all that info and thoughts. My DD covered a reasonable amount of that at her pre-school. She said again this evening that she would like to do some Maths because she likes that more than reading (which she finds a bit more frustrating). I'm thinking about maybe getting a website subscription so she can play maths games on the computer. I think she'd rather enjoy that. We do adding and subtracting of one digit numbers, but we haven't tried two digit. Might try that to see how she does.

allyfe Tue 10-Dec-13 20:09:35

The other thing I am going to add is that all children do from the second that they are born is to learn. They investigate, problem solve and learn. They start with walking, talking, putting shapes into wholes, puzzles, the list is endless. Maths is simply another form of learning, thinking and reasoning. It is about quantities, shape, difference.

It is slightly narrow minded to assume that just because parents want to help find ways of facilitating their childrens learning that they also want to see them chained to a desk with endless worksheets and homework.

mrz Tue 10-Dec-13 20:34:32

One of the reasons the UK does badly in PISA tests is KNOWN to be that formal learning starts too early.

really?

"And then a thread title pops up asking about Maths in year R some of them are only just 4 FFS let them play"

They can learn an awful lot of maths while playing. Building blocks - shape, space and measue. Lego & Duplo size and number (2 dimples or 4 or 6 or more) Water & sand trays capacity /weight. Weighing and measuring make biscuits/cakes . Mamushka dolls order by size. hop scotch, skittles, target games. Threading beads - patterns.

toys tea party - matching quantities 4 dolls need 4 plates and 4 cups
sorting objects etc etc etc

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