Nursery mental maths ideas.

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Nursery mental maths ideas.

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    I have recently taken over as a nursery teacher and they currently have slots in the morning where different activities take place at 'carpet time'. One of these is mental maths and I am looking for some new and exciting ideas to do at this time. I have done some counting with clapping, number recognition with foam numbers and positional language with toys. My smart board is broken so that's out :( Any active and fun ideas will be much appreciated as I am used to older children! Thanks
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    ok lol, off the top of my head...

    • matching shapes
    • matching colours
    • hard to explain, but I once saw tubs out in the nursery with number 1-10 and dots, seasonal objects could then be sorted in to them
    • number hunts round nursery
    • compare bears or linking elephants type materials to play with and sort
    • counting songs, 10 green bottles, 5 current buns, 5 little ducks ect
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    An idea I use when visiting the nursery classes I work in is to sort, count, draw and write different objects.  For example, collect a load of everyday things of the same type, like wee pegs, wooden beads, feathers, pipe cleaners, metallic numbers, coloured matchsticks and boxes of differing shapes, sizes, colours, textures etc  Put the objects into sorting trays.  Have the children choose a box and ask them why they chose that one.  Ask the children to fill the boxes with the different objects (you will probably have to model this) and make sure the lid can go back on.  The children then carefully tip the contents out and sort into wee piles.  They then count their pegs for example and draw them on the paper and if they know the number, they can write that next to the picture.  Repeat for other piles.  Great for assessing 1-1 correspondence, sorting and matching ability, fine motor control, pencil grip, number recognition etc etc.

    While I am on the subject of sorting - try to look for sets of objects that have more than a couple of uses, like compare bears which can really only be sorted by colour and size.  Some ideas may be plastic insects or frogs or making up pods of objects like eggs, balls etc.

     Hope this helps! :)

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    Just another thought...do you have use of an outside space?  Use ribbons, skipping ropes, chalk or water to form numbers or shapes on the ground.

    :)

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    Thanks for all the ideas :) We obviously have loads of similar maths activity to those mentioned going on around the nursery. I was struggling more with this as its 20 mins on the carpet 'mental maths time'. Many of the children get bored if they are not involved directly in the activity all the time and it's hard to have 30 children involved at all times.

    I like the idea of boxes with dots on and putting in objects to match number of dots as I hadn't thought of/seen that before. I am just making some number fans so that all the children can look at the numbers and show answers, maybe they will feel more involved/less bored!

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    I thought we were moving away from having 30 children sat on a mat for 20 minutes, go with the active learning and split children up into smaller groups to take part in sustained shared thinking, they will get much more from the activity this way. The reason the children are bored is because you have too many and are not able to engage all at the correct level.

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    Correct, I just took over and am trying to follow what is in place as I am only there for a matter of a couple of months. I might just change it anyway and have smaller groups working with each of us (although not sure this will go down well with NNs :S but they will just have to lump it!) Can you tell me what types of activities you do during your sustained shared thinking times? Thanks
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    People on here are always so quick to tell everyone what they are doing wrong. I wish more people were willing to share the good things they do as well. :(
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    how about rolling a big dice in the middle of the circle, children count the dots and show answer on number fans. might be tricky for some as it involves counting and number recognition however will challenge the bright sparks and actively engages all.
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    Thanks for the idea heford :) I will try that soon
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