Y is the youngest three year old in my class. Though she's becoming more comfortable at school each day, she is still tentative about joining in activities with other children, still holds back from lots. The other day she and I were in front of the big tin cans that hang so they can be hit with bamboo beaters. She watched as I beat out a rhythm on a can - and when I then held the beater out to her, she ran away.
But, when it comes to mathematics, she is in her element. She has a kind of exuberance, of joy playing with numbers and shapes.
I first noticed it when I'd put some Numicon out back in September. Steph - always upping the opportunities for mathematics! - added some jelly numbers. I was amazed when Y quickly matched up the Numicon pieces and the numbers, and seemed to be really enjoying it too!
Doing some mathematics is one of the places Y seems to feel really comfortable alongside other students. Here she is on the left, arranging some of the dot stones:
- Y's joy in all this is something precious. I don't want it to be dampened by taking any of this out of her hands. She is leading the way, sharing what she's doing with me, and I want to keep it that way.
- Like I said, the sociability of her enthusiasm is a real asset for the whole class. In these mathematical moments she forgets any diffidence and is happy to take turns or work together with a partner.
- I don't think it's important to go too much into the written symbols for numbers at this stage, but Y clearly has an interest in this, and I'm happy to respond to that too.
- I'm really interested to see how her pleasure and understanding grow, and how it spreads through the class.
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