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Why is all the emphasis on literacy?

(27 Posts)
RillaBlythe Tue 06-Nov-12 19:18:04

Dd has just finished her first half term in reception. Lots & lots of phonics, word games to play over half term & Now her first reading book. But I haven't heard a peep about numeracy at all. Is it just my perception - & the work sent home - that all the emphasis is on literacy, or is this indeed the case & if so what's the logic?

noisytoys Tue 06-Nov-12 19:21:21

Numeracy at reception age is usually done through play. Counting things, jigsaw puzzles, pieces in sand etc coin counting etc We had a maths open day last term.

2011november Tue 06-Nov-12 19:24:04

Does it not depend on what your Dc tells you. I had one who told me nothing and I could have believed no numeracy from what school sent home. My other DC tells me the numeracy done daily though she may not realize it is numeracy and not a game ie counting backwards etc.

learnandsay Tue 06-Nov-12 19:26:12

The parents are actively encouraged to be involved in literacy but not in numeracy at this stage it would seem.

LindyHemming Tue 06-Nov-12 19:26:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Tue 06-Nov-12 19:27:20

Numeracy needs to be done through counting physical objects (manipulation) and mental maths at this stage. It is important NOT to start doing maths on paper.

learnandsay Tue 06-Nov-12 19:28:21

What's good about not doing it on paper?

Bonsoir Tue 06-Nov-12 19:29:22

Committing maths to paper too early harms children's understanding of numbers.

LaCiccolina Tue 06-Nov-12 19:30:44

Is there much point in being able to count if you cannot read or write? I would expect maths to be counting objects and getting a feel for amounts of things not writing on paper?

learnandsay Tue 06-Nov-12 19:31:10

Where does that theory come from?

learnandsay Tue 06-Nov-12 19:32:48

Of course you should be able to count if you can't read or write. One has got nothing to do with the other.

redskyatnight Tue 06-Nov-12 19:35:12

Literacy is a lot more visible - children get reading books sent home and writing your own name and then simple sentences is given high priority.

Numeracy is a bit more sneaky. Here are some things my children did in Reception:
- certain number of children were allowed on activities (e.g. 4). Child had to work out how many were there already and therefore if there was a space for them/how many spaces

- how many blocks in a tower/how wide?

- counting out a pencil to each of 30 children

- putting items into pairs and then counting the items in pairs (ie counting in 2s)

- cooking including measuring out ingredients

- volumes of sand and water in the sand and water areas

- telling the time

- role play e.g in a bank or a shop including counting money/working out change etc.

I think you get the idea smile

LindyHemming Tue 06-Nov-12 19:38:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crazygracieuk Tue 06-Nov-12 20:32:27

Cultures that use physical objects in numeracy- cuisinere rods, abacus etc tend to create better mathematicians than ones where the emphasis is maths on paper.

Maths can be very abstract for children so teaching it through play is more effective at building a better foundation (and is more fun!)

Your child is probably doing numeracy.
5 dolls having a tea party, 3 have cups, how many more cups do I need?
I have 10 blocks and want to build 2 towers. How many do I need?
Much more natural way to learn maths than 5-2 or 10/2
Personally I'd like to see more of that kind of maths on older years when they do subjects like fractions, decimals etc,

take3 Tue 06-Nov-12 20:38:06

Learnandsay... what is good about doing maths on paper in reception? There is so much maths that needs to be grasped by manipulatives before anything is put on paper.... just read up about Singapore Maths, that is becoming very popular in the UK.
If I write 1, 2, 3, 4 on paper and then pen, apple, pear and chair... well the number 2 includes the number one, the number 3 includes the numbers 1 and 2 and so on.... but if I say apple, that does not include the pen and if I say pear, it does not mean pen, apple and pear.. .they are separate things.

So.... this is difficult for a child to understand on paper.. if you are still following me (!).... that is why they need to do lots and lots of work with objects first.

learnandsay Tue 06-Nov-12 20:56:52

I suppose it depends on what we mean by paper. I take paper to mean maths notation. But my four year old is perfectly happy with 7+5=
and then she counts out the beads on the abacus. It doesn't seem to be harming her. OK, we're not doing algebra yet.

take3 Tue 06-Nov-12 21:03:56

So if she has a secure understanding of the digits and their value then I don't think it is doing any harm at all.. infact probably the right level for her... but most 4 year old are not ready for that level, yet. Some need longer with the maths manipulatives and, on the whole, our education system is quite 'one size fits all', which, in my opinion, it doesn't! It is very hard in class of 30 to tailor the curriculum individually to all children. Impossible infact.

mrz Tue 06-Nov-12 21:04:37

The new EYFS has 3 prime areas
Communication and language
physical development and
personal social and emotional development

BooksandaCuppa Tue 06-Nov-12 21:08:04

Learn to read and then you can read to learn.

LindyHemming Tue 06-Nov-12 21:21:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Tue 06-Nov-12 21:30:36

In England it states
Recognise some numerals of personal significance.
• Recognises numerals 1 to 5.
• Counts up to three or four objects by saying one number
name for each item.
• Counts actions or objects which cannot be moved.
• Counts objects to 10, and beginning to count beyond 10.
• Counts out up to six objects from a larger group.
Selects the correct numeral to represent 1 to 5, then 1 to 10
• Counts an irregular arrangement of up to ten objects.
• Estimates how many objects they can see and checks by
counting them.
• Uses the language of ‘more’ and ‘fewer’ to compare two sets
of objects.
• Finds the total number of items in two groups by counting all
of them.
• Says the number that is one more than a given number.
• Finds one more or one less from a group of up to five objects,
then ten objects.
• In practical activities and discussion, beginning to use the
vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting.
• Records, using marks that they can interpret and explain.
• Begins to identify own mathematical problems based on own
interests and fascinations.
Early Learning Goal
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.
Beginning to use mathematical names for ‘solid’ 3D shapes
and ‘flat’ 2D shapes, and mathematical terms to describe
• Selects a particular named shape.
• Can describe their relative position such as ‘behind’ or
‘next to’.
• Orders two or three items by length or height.
• Orders two items by weight or capacity.
• Uses familiar objects and common shapes to create and
recreate patterns and build models.
• Uses everyday language related to time.
• Beginning to use everyday language related to money.
• Orders and sequences familiar events.
• Measures short periods of time in simple ways.
Early Learning Goal
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.

LindyHemming Tue 06-Nov-12 21:37:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VintageRainBoots Tue 06-Nov-12 21:39:03

My daughter's reception class emphasizes both literacy and numeracy, and assigns an equal amount of homework for both, though the "maths" homework seems a little dumbed-down and slow-paced, if you ask me (the reading work seems just right). I guess it's designed to help develop intuition for numbers, but my daughter already has that intuition, and I don't want her to get bored with maths before it has even begun.

So, to counter the slow-paced maths work she does in school, I work with her one-on-one doing ever-so-slightly more advanced maths (e.g., 3+6=9, 5-2=3 39+1=40...she's only 5, after all).

RillaBlythe Tue 06-Nov-12 21:41:00

Thanks for the thoughts - interesting. I have absolutely no doubt that DD is doing numeracy work at school - they have clearly been talking about spheres, for example - but I was wondering more why we weren't being encouraged to support it at home, or given specific tasks to work on with the DC as we are with literacy.

mrz is that for at the end of Reception or for entering Reception year?

mrz Tue 06-Nov-12 21:42:12

So does the English curriculum they are just general statements how they are taught is up to individual teachers/schools

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