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Counting on/numbers in reception - is this normal??

(19 Posts)
CocktailQueen Mon 17-Oct-11 20:58:11

I help in ds's reception class one afternoon a week. Last week when I was there the teacher put a counting program on the whiteboard. It had a number line from 1 to 20 and questions underneath it, so 14 + 4, 18 - 2 etc.

I was a bit taken aback tbh - have all the children secured their numbers up to 10 yet, never mind up to 20????? This seems very difficult for reception children (and to my mind the teacher should be teaching, not just putting on a computer program - but that's another thread).

Hmm. None of the children could manage without help from the teacher.

wobblypig Mon 17-Oct-11 22:19:42

DS in reception has just been given similar home work for half-term 11+3; 18 + 2 etc. I thought it was quite hard but maybe this is normal?

purpleturtletoise Mon 17-Oct-11 22:23:21

DS2 is in Y1 and hasn't yet mastered counting on up to 10, never mind 20! Seems a bit ambitious perhaps - unless they're just trying to find everybody's levels - some of them are probably capable of it already.

cyb Mon 17-Oct-11 22:28:26

If it was on the whiteboard for the children to access but not an adult led activity perhaps it was just a poor choice of programme from the teacher.

the rest of the lessons wouldn't be like that

ShowOfHands Mon 17-Oct-11 22:38:14

DD does maths using numbers up to 20. She's 4 and in reception. She finds it a bit easy tbh and they've added in some Qs like 'what's half of x' or 'double y' etc to introduce some other mathematical concepts. Plus counting forwards and backwards in twos last week.

I think there's a spectrum of normal at this age.

oyuoyu Mon 17-Oct-11 22:42:26

How do you KNOW this stuff? The only thing my DS has ever told me is that they picked sunflower seeds off the floor.

millyrainbow Mon 17-Oct-11 23:34:05

Children are so different at that age. Some can easily cope with numbers up to 20 (and further) while some will have so little experience of numbers they need to focus on counting to 5. I assume the teacher was trying to cater for the top end of the class.

CocktailQueen Tue 18-Oct-11 08:42:11

oyuoyu - because I was in the class with them!!!! Wouldn't have known otherwise.

CocktailQueen Tue 18-Oct-11 08:43:39

cyb - it was adult led - the teacher had the pointer and was doing the program and choosing the children to answer. They were sitting on the mat in front of the board. They obv knew the program well as they were shouting out the responses to the voice on screen!

threeslices Tue 18-Oct-11 10:38:04

As far as i know in my dds reception class they have been finding one more and one less than numbers up to 10. I'm sure they haven't introduced number lines yet but use objects to count. She has really enjoyed it and is secure with this independently. She could probably manage more advanced stuff with a number line, but only with a lot of guidance. I think the majority of dc in the OPs class will gain nothing from the maths she described.
ShowOfHands, my dd also does 2 and 10 times tables, and easy doubles and halves, but only because she has an older brother. She still needs to learn the basic concepts.

CocktailQueen Tue 18-Oct-11 11:52:33

threeslices, that's what I was worrying about. The maths you describe sounds much more age appropriate and helpful. Should I have a word with the teacher or not??

belindarose Tue 18-Oct-11 12:03:20

Really, really don't 'have a word with the teacher', unless maybe you are a very experienced qualified teacher yourself. How presumptuous of a classroom volunteer to even consider it might be okay to comment. The teacher could have any number of good reasons to be using this activity, whether or not the whole class currently understand it. Amazing.

belindarose Tue 18-Oct-11 12:04:33

And isn't 'help from the teacher' the 'teaching' that you felt was lacking??

threeslices Tue 18-Oct-11 12:08:26

I sometimes help out in my ds class (year 2) and am sometimes really concerned about the way the class are taught and about overall discipline but i have never said anything to the teacher because i am worried about looking like i am interfering etc. I really don't know whether you should say anything. I think it is easy to get a reputation as a pushy/over anxious mum. I have sort of accepted that my dss teacher this year is fairly mediocre and hope next year is better, although that sounds defeatist. I don't know what to do about it.

ShowOfHands Tue 18-Oct-11 12:18:18

I was only repeating what dd does to answer the op's question of 'is this normal' ie in dd's reception class yes they do the stuff she mentions and as dd knows basic maths and the basic concepts from preschool, they set her different tasks on top of that such as the double/half stuff, plus 2x tables and other stuff that went a bit over my head tbh. I assume other children in the class work at different levels. I only know what dd does because I had to endure parents evening last week (it's the sitting on small chairs, I could barely walk afterwards grin).

mollymole Tue 18-Oct-11 12:22:41

as some of the children knew the answers then she is obviously aware of the ability range of her class - IMO it is very good to see children being stretched from an early age, just because there may be a majority of children in the class who can only cope with 1-10 there will be others who are further on and they have a need to be taught to their abilities too.

ASuitableGirl Tue 18-Oct-11 12:25:07

I'd agree with other posters that possibly this wasn't an activity that all children could fully access, but that some could and it is important to challenge all children.

CocktailQueen Tue 18-Oct-11 12:58:34

Belindarose - no, I don't classify what I saw as teaching; the teacher was 'coaching' the children who were at the board answering questions. Without her help they would not have been able to answer the questions.

"The teacher could have any number of good reasons to be using this activity, whether or not the whole class currently understand it" - am intrigued - what reasons????

If not all the class could do this, then why not do it as a table activity with the more able children at one table, instead of involving all children?

I ask because I was speaking to a TA in Year 2 the other day and she said that soem of her Year 2s couldn't do that yet! She was a bit shocked.

dearheart Tue 18-Oct-11 13:04:53

I think I would be quite pleased if my R dd was doing this in class. i am not sure the teacher would know who was capable of higher maths at this stage in the year. And so long as the activity is fairly short, I don't think it matters that it would be way above some kids' heads - something may go in, even if it is just the concept that you can add one number to another. Any class activity is going to be lost on some kids, boring for others - that's just a fact of group work.

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