”Young children arrive with an innate curiosity to explore number relationships in their world through play and discovery. At the same time, it is also important for educators to help them make those essential connections by setting up a math-rich, play-based environment, providing intentional materials to explore concepts, and asking meaningful, open-ended and thought-provoking questions.” Ontario Teachers’ Federation
In Junior Kindergarten we explore mathematical ideas daily. During our scheduled math sessions we are currently focusing our learning around representing numbers to 10 using a variety of materials like ten frames, counters and dot patterns. Learners work in small groups, or as a whole class to extend their thinking. A shared understanding around numbers has been created in our classroom, and the language of mathematics is used throughout the day. Learning is steeped in rich mathematical tasks using materials and later on in the year, worksheets may be introduced to consolidate knowledge. This balance helps students to see that their understanding of math can be shown in different ways.
The Four Frames of Learning, our curriculum document in Kindergarten, states that children’s learning and development with respect to mathematics behaviours, is evident in the various ways children use concepts of number and pattern during play and inquiry: access, manage, create, and evaluate information; and experience an emergent understanding of mathematical relationships, concepts, skills and processes.
Our role as teachers and parents is to promote an active engagement in learning and a developing love of learning, which can instill the habit of learning for life.
My passion for developing mathematical mindsets in our Kindergarten students stems from my view that children bring with them an intuitive knowledge of mathematics that they have developed through curiosity about their physical world and through real-life experiences. All the recent Professional Development I have received talks about how problem solving and strategies needed to work with numbers is as important as the content or knowledge. The way in which students communicate their thinking allows them to make connections between various contexts.