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Advice please ... what does good maths teaching look like in early years?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by happycat23, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. hello,

    I was hoping to pick your brains! Basically I am coordinating Maths in my school and have got to do observations soon, including an observation in Foundation Stage. The trouble is I have never taught or been trained in Early Years and am going to find it difficult to give areas for development or even to identify particularly good practise. The teacher in our Foundation Stage is brilliant but I know she would like some useful feedback as to what was good about the lesson and what she could do to improve it and I would love to be able to suggest something useful. So I was hoping maybe some of you lovely early years people could tell me what I should be looking for in an outstanding maths lesson in early years?!!

    Any advice would be much appreciated! :)
     
  2. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    There may or may not be a carpet input with all the children and there may or may not be a focus/ teacher directed group teaching activity. These will be judged the same as any other year group. i.e organisation, planning, differentiation, use of language, moving children on, correcting misunderstandings. etc.
    I would expect to see lots of evidence of maths in other areas of the classroom, ie number lines, date/ calendar displays, birthday displays, continuous provision planning (play areas) either in main planning or preferably displayed in the areas. This will give opps for maths development , vocabulary and possible suggestions of questions, senarios etc. There does not have to be a maths focus in every area, though some reception teachers may work this way.
    I would look at how all staff are supporting children in play and how they support mathematical concepts through play. Most of the learning goes on during play.
    I would also expect there to be a good range of activities outside too.
    At this time in the year there should be a heavy emphasis on practical experiences and vocabulary. I would not expect to see formal written equations.
    You are unlikely to see much written evidence of work. However there should be lots of observational evidence that should feed the next steps in learning.
    I am a EY specialist and maths leader, but I havent met a head yet who knows how to observe EY properly either, so you are not alone!
     
  3. thanks for the reply mary that is much appreciated. Seem so silly that Foundation Stage teachers are being observed by people who know very little about Early Years themselves. I feel a bit of a fraud going in to observe and give feedback when I don't really know what I am looking for. But hey ... what do I know!! At least your advice has put me in the picture a bit more though so again thanks very much!
    happycat :)
     
  4. I got observed last week teaching Maths in EY last week. The main thing I was told was to ensure that some of the areas in the classroom are linked to the work you have done on the carpet input. Adult interaction is also very important. Hope this is of some help!
     

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