When learning mathematics, the children work within the IBPYP framework and philosophy about learning mathematics that aligns with the New Zealand Ministry of Education and Early Childhood Education, and namely the Numeracy Development Projects.
The power of describing mathematics and analysing the world around us is such that is has become a highly effective tool for solving problems. It is important that learners acquire mathematical understanding by constructing their own meaning through ever-increasing levels of abstraction, starting with exploring their own personal experiences, understanding and knowledge. In mathematics learners construct meaning, transfer and apply understandings.
Where possible, mathematics will be taught through the relevant, realistic contexts of the units of inquiry and it is important that mathematics is viewed through the unit of inquiry. The direct teaching of mathematics in a unit of inquiry may not always be feasible but, where appropriate, prior learning or follow up activities may be useful to help students make connections between the different aspects of the curriculum’, (IBO MTPYPH, 2009). Every teacher of mathematics must provide students with the knowledge and understanding of the mathematics necessary to function in the world.
Whilst the role of inquiry is important, it is recognised that explicit and specific teaching of mathematical strategies, skills and concepts need to be obtained in order to progress in their mathematical understandings and make connections with the world around them.
Each day there are specific lessons dedicated to learning about mathematics. These include learning skills needed to develop early mathematicians. These dedicated language lessons are held in the form of stand-alone lessons where mathematical skills are explicitly taught to transfer and construct meaning to make connections through the Units of Inquiry. Mathematics is also taught through daily interactions and play to apply mathematics in the world with understanding.
In teaching mathematics in the ELC, teachers use various tools to assess the learning of each child that include assessment for learning and assessment of learning. The Ministry of Education (New Zealand) Diagnostic Interviews are used in the ELC. Each child in the ELC has a year long portfolio. This portfolio is the prime source of documentation and evidence of the child’s learning throughout each academic year in the Early Years.
Please do visit us or your child’s teacher to find out more about the mathematics program in the ELC.