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‘What time is it?’ is about measurement.Having a play clock helps children use the measurement language of time.Do you have a range of shapes available for children to use (e.g. dramatic area, block area, painting paper, collage, window crystals etc.)? ‘Straight’, ‘curved’ and ‘bent’ are about shape.Do you provide spaces where individual/small group number games can take place?‘How many’ is about understanding number.Do you have play materials in the home corner, such as plastic cakes (which are in equal parts) or containers of beads, animals etc. for children to share when playing?‘Sharing’ is about division.
14Environment: (literacy and numeracy)What have you noticed about children’s play? What is the everyday concept being developed?Why do we do this (use cards/concepts to help you)? What is the literacy or numeracy concept?Do you have materials for setting up a shopping centre or library or other real-life experience where children need to sort things (not just packing up regular centre materials)?‘Sorting things’ is about classifying. Do you have a selection of bags with books (e.g. Titch [Hutchins, 1971]) and props, such as a tape measure, ruler (can also include measuring cups and spoons, coins, clocks, watches etc.)?‘Big’ and ‘little’ are about measurement.‘Full’ and ‘empty’ are about measurement. We can also measure time, area and money.Do you have print in various forms around the walls of the room (e.g. notices, posters, labels, alphabet, children’s names, number charts)?Looking at ‘signs’ and ‘words’ is about reading.They notice that labels tell them about the objects and capture their names through labels. Having their name on things tells them where their belongings go.Do you display children’s work with written captions underneath?Looking at ‘signs’ and ‘words’ is about reading.Do you make writing and measurement implements always available and easily accessible for children to use (e.g. writing table, scales, tape measures, calculators)?Drawing and scribbling lead to writing.Do you include a ‘signing-in’ book for children as well as parents, and have a clock close by so children can write down the time?Messages can be sent from one place to another.Children quickly learn to write their name in the book or on a list as they see their parents doing this.Do you provide spaces where reading, writing, drawing and number games can take place?Reading helps us get things done.
Environment: (literacy and numeracy)Messages can be sent from one place to another.Using email or sending letters is about learning that written language can carry a message. In talking about what appears on screen, children are learning that symbols mean something particular and can be re-arranged and placed in particular locations using the keyboard and mouse.Do you have a collection of charts, posters, playing cards, games with spinners, dice, egg timers, stopwatches etc.?Literacy and numeracy tools give children more and different types of opportunities for talking and playing with numbers and words.Do you have a collection of technologies (TV, telephones, faxes, emails, internet, mobile phones etc.) available?Talking about TV helps children learn.Do you provide everyday print materials and draw children’s attention to their purpose? Learning to read carefully takes time.Do you have displays in other languages? You can’t read too many stories.Do you have access to alphabet books and books about numbers?Numbers are about how much, how long and how many.Letters are about reading.Others you have?
When you think about scaffolding children’s literacy and numeracy concepts, how do you interact? • Do you model the concepts at all? For example, are the literacy and numeracy words spoken about in your early childhood setting (modelled)? • Do you plan experiences beyond what the children can do on their own? In these experiences, do the children do what they can and you do the rest (shared)? For example, helping you read the recipe when cooking. • Do you actively observe children’s literacy and numeracy development and note when children have attained concepts (rather than just tasks)?