Mathematics

Rekenrek Revolution: a fresh approach to simple maths

How can a Dutch counting frame make it easier for a child to learn times tables and number bonds? In this blog I’m going to look at the rekenrek, a simple arithmetical tool that is growing in popularity.  Now, in the decades I’ve spent as a qualified teacher, I’ve seen plenty of changes in the… Continue reading Rekenrek Revolution: a fresh approach to simple maths

Mathematics

Slicing and sharing takes the cake

Children have the right instincts about cake. They’re usually very excited to have some for dessert, and so they should be.  Not only is cake comforting and tasty, but as I’ll explain in this blog, it’s useful too! Serving it is a great way to practise fine motor skills, to learn about sharing and even… Continue reading Slicing and sharing takes the cake

Mathematics

Supercubes: numeracy and hands-on learning

Making ‘supercubes’ is a great way for children to explore cube numbers, and what happens when numbers are increased by the ‘power of three dimensions’ At times I see my granddaughter Daisy playing on her own, completely immersed in her imaginary play. At other times, she likes an adult to join her in the play:… Continue reading Supercubes: numeracy and hands-on learning

Mathematics

Subitising fun with Compare Bears

My granddaughter Daisy has played with my set of Compare Bears on several occasions.  By virtue of their varying sizes and colours, Compare Bears allow young children to explore and learn about counting, sorting, patterning, and size and mass comparison in a fun, relaxed way. Now they're supporting Daisy in an important new skill: subitising.… Continue reading Subitising fun with Compare Bears

Mathematics

Preschool numerical patterns: Numberblocks and number bonds

“Daisy, how many toes have you got on this foot?” I was sitting in the back of the car with my granddaughter Daisy as we travelled home from another afternoon spent rock-pooling at the beach, and Daisy had cast off her wellies and socks. Daisy looked at the foot I was drying and quickly answered… Continue reading Preschool numerical patterns: Numberblocks and number bonds

Mathematics

Preschool numeracy: fun with odds and evens

On one of our regular FaceTime calls last week, my granddaughter Daisy made one of her frequent surprise announcements. She carefully explained to me that she and Daddy “are even numbers” and Mummy “is an odd number”. She added that, following her next birthday, she (Daisy) would be odd, Daddy would also be odd and… Continue reading Preschool numeracy: fun with odds and evens

Mathematics

Measuring up: teaching children about non-standard units

Measures – we adults use them every day and all day, responding to our alarm clock in the morning and checking our pedometer step count at the end of the day.  On a daily basis, we use measures for time, distance, weight, temperature, volume and capacity, and that’s before you consider the more ‘abstract’ measurements… Continue reading Measuring up: teaching children about non-standard units

Mathematics

Weighing up Autumn produce – a seasonal activity for preschoolers

As the English seasons roll around, the pumpkins and squashes are piling up in the supermarkets, and the conkers and acorns are falling from the trees. Although I’ll dearly miss the longer days of summer sun, autumn is a season that always brings special experiences to our family.  From the Harvest Festival to Halloween, Autumn… Continue reading Weighing up Autumn produce – a seasonal activity for preschoolers

Mathematics

A Numberblocks Numberblog: reaching One Hundred

Mathematics can be a tricky subject… for grownups. Unfortunately, many adults grow up to think of maths as tedious at best and intimidating at worst. It’s not helpful to be confronted by this feeling when we’re faced with unavoidable tasks, such as measuring up a room or working out our share of a restaurant bill.… Continue reading A Numberblocks Numberblog: reaching One Hundred

Mathematics

Building preschool mathematics: from 1 to 100

As grandparents, we’re used to early wake-up calls when Daisy visits us. The fleeting peace of the morning is broken by my granddaughter's demands for a story, or for us to witness her play acting as a dragon. Last weekend she bounced excitedly into our bedroom to inform us that “the thing in the bathroom”… Continue reading Building preschool mathematics: from 1 to 100