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Developing mathematical thinking in the early years

In this session, Debi Keyte-Hartland delves into the world of mathematical thinking looking at the aesthetic and artfulness of maths as well as examining and exploring how opportunities for mathematical thinking can be found in our built and natural environments of our settings.  Patterns, symmetry, geometry surround us everywhere, as do concepts such as infinity, fractals, the golden ratio, and Fibonacci sequences.  Often it is a case of knowing for ourselves to then know how to look for and appreciate the mathematics that surrounds us, so that we can delight in the joy of maths with our children.

Strengthening the possibilities for developing mathematical thinking requires educators to be able to observe the many occasions in which we can see the birth of their thinking so that we can then respond in as many ways as possible to the investigation and mastery of mathematics. Thus, we build a greater awareness of the multiple strategies to test, investigate and solve mathematical problems as well as developing the skills to communicate and express our reasoning which is a fundamental requirement for the mastery of mathematical thinking.

We can also increase our understanding by looking at how maths is not simply a set of abstracted ideas tone taught and learnt about, but are also inherently concrete and embodied. We will also explore the effect and impact of mathematical ‘provocations’ to assess their quality in developing mathematical thinking to enable educators to see that it is often not enough for children just to play with material provocations individually in the environment, but to examine deeper how we as educators can actively support their language, conversation and linguistics of their mathematical thinking, reasoning, and calculation.

Trainer: Debi Keyte-Hartland

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Topic: 
Math in the EYFS