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Nursery class maths observation

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by wolls, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. wolls

    wolls New commenter

    We have maths observations next week in nursery. As I do a job share we have 2 observations in nursery so need to make sure that both lessons follow on well and show progression. We are doing Dear Zoo next week so my plan is that some animals have escaped from the zoo and the children have to find them hidden around the classroom. They then have to put them back into their cages, which will be on the floor marked out with masking tape. Each cage to have no more than 5 animals in it so the children are counting and checking this. There will be a cage for elephants, a cage for monkeys and a cage for giraffes. I am having trouble though deciding what to do the next day for the next observation to build on this, other than the cages could now have columns & numbers in then so they have to place 1 animal under the number 1, 2 animals under the number 2 etc?? Any ideas would be most appreciated. Many thanks
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It's always interesting to read how other people teach.
    This is so far removed from how we 'teach' in our nursery and reception, that I can't really help you with progression or ideas. This doesn't mean what you've written isn't great, it sounds lovely just totally outside my experience of nursery teaching.
    I think I'm just waffling unhelpfully now, so will stop and look forward to reading answers from others who have more varied experience.
  3. wolls

    wolls New commenter

    Many thanks for your reply. Would be interested to know how teaching is done in your nursery if it is so different to what I have written. You have got me panicking even more now Many thanks
  4. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    I wasn't quite sure what you meant by each cage to have no more than 5 animals in it. Do they have to look for 5 of each or might there be more hidden and they stop at 5. It could be tricky but may be I am not understanding properly. I don't know how many children you have in the nursery but are they all searching at once as it could get a bit lively but depends on the children. It is definitely good to do active things with nursery. May be you are having a group look for elephants then a group for giraffes etc and all help count when they come back. Perhaps the next day you could have them all sitting in a circle with 'cage in middle. certain children have just one type of animal, say elephants and one by one they put them in cage as others count. Spread them a bit more in a line and have a pile of food may be not enough for each animal . get a child to count food and place one by each animal 1 to 1 correspondence. Count, is there enough? Ask how may more needed etc.
    I have done something similar with toy hedgehogs when doing autumn stuff and hibernation. Used around 5 cuddly hedgehogs hidden in pile of leaves and used bits of liquorice as slugs!
  5. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    Not sure if you want another how group teaching session as you could add lots of farm animals, zoo animals etc to continuous provision for sorting and counting into cages and may be make groups of animals with playdough etc.
  6. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    @wolls Like your idea - sounds fun! Only you will know how this activity may pan out in practical terms with the number of children you have, the space available and how the children might respond.

    When thinking about what the children might do in the second session, it would be helpful to know what it is you are hoping the children will learn. What is your objective in Maths at the moment? Is it counting objects accurately, one-to-one correspondence, conservation of number, counting on or the beginnings of addition? When you have the destination in mind, it’s easier to plan the footsteps.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Don 't panic. There is more than one way to skin a cat...as they say.

    I think the biggest difference is we don't 'teach' maths as formally as you seem to, with teacher led activities and whole class work. We tend to do a very short input on something or other if children show interest and that's it. Then we use a form of 'in the moment planning' for moving learning on individually. If you came to observe in my class and stayed all day, you'd probably see every child doing some maths at some point, but not all at the same time and not all the same maths.

    For your activity some of my class would think it the most boring thing ever and spend the entire time saying 'Can we go and play now?'. Some would find it far too easy. Some would bring the animals back, but have no idea if they can put it in a cage that already has six or not as they don't understand size. Some wouldn't have a clue and would go off to find animals and then play with the animal. Some would go off to find and animal, forget that's what they were doing and end up playing in the sand. Very few would actually achieve completion of the activity in the way I'd hope.
    BUT if your class are used to whole class maths teaching, with adult led activities, the outcome might be very different.

    Do whatever you believe to be right...I'm only in my second year of nursery teaching, I don't have a clue!
  8. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    As well as the practical maths, can you utilise a way for children to record their responses?
    Can they have paper and pencil to write numbers, draw pictures or mark that number in their own way? That will push children further and help you identify gaps - or children who are further ahead.
  9. wolls

    wolls New commenter

    Thank you for all your reply’s, I’ve tweeted it a little and adapted it to prevent confusion with the children.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    In nursery???????

    My class are reasonably advanced this year, but we haven't yet covered writing numbers and may not do so all year. Only some of them can read numbers!
  11. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Numebrs can be represented in all different ways. Some might be able to write numbers. Some might draw circles. Some might draw lines. A representation is just a child recording their thinking. It's amazing what they can do.
    digoryvenn likes this.
  12. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    I made a 'bird hide' in my room one year with binoculars etc looking out onto our garden where the children hung their bird feeders they made. I made laminated sheets with pictures of the birds they might see, only about 4 different ones and the children marked with tally marks when they saw them. We then counted them at the end of the session. They didn't do the 5 bar gate tallies, just the lines but no one just scribbled over the sheet. They were on a clip board with a white board pen. The children loved being in the hide and being bird watchers. They took it very seriously at 3 and 4 years old.

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