Author: gw17mccabelisa@glow

#ArtyMathsFalkirk – Keep Going

 

After another week of celebrating all things Maths as part of Scottish Maths Week, it is important to think about what’s been achieved.

First of all, I want to say a huge WELL DONE and THANK YOU to everyone across Falkirk’s ELC community for showing, once again, that you are on a mission! As a community, you are always keen to support our initiatives and with a gentle spark, you really embrace the opportunity to develop memorable experiences for children.

Photo: Courtesy of Sacred Heart ELC Class via Twitter

What have you learned about the children and and yourselves?

The energy and enthusiasm shown during Maths Week is very special, so we need to make sure that we reflect on what went well and what have we learned. When we know this, we can keep going and keep improving.

This year we asked you to think about where is the Mathematics in Art. In doing so, we wanted to provide you with the opportunity to look closely at children as they play but through the lens of asking: “where’s the Maths?”

Photo: Courtesy of Queen Street ELC Centre via Twitter

In doing this, I am sure you realised that, even over a short window of time, the awesome potential that  young children have to think and behave mathematically, appropriate to their developmental stage, of course. You will have, I’m sure, noticed children being highly competent in their knowledge of a broad range of essential foundational mathematical concepts.

In using Art as a context, you’ve also been give a reminder that foundations of Maths is more than numerals and counting. Counting is vitally important and we need to make sure we find lots of natural ways, relevant to children, to support them to recognise numbers and count objects. Absolutely.

“Numeracy is not just about being able to count. It is about developing number sense which encourages creativity of thought and it allows children to interact with the world around them”. Realising the Ambition, page 74

But, let’s not forget that for children to develop reasoning skills, essential for the mathematical brain to develop, we must support a range of other essential concepts: Matching. Sorting. Grouping. Categorising. Time. Pattern. Shape. Measure. Movement.

Photo: Courtesy of Wellside Kingergarten via Twitter

So, what next?

You mustn’t lose what you’ve started.

Now that you know what children are capable of, you must keep looking for the Maths within the rich experiences you are offering to children.

Think: how am I seeing the child thinking and behaving mathematically?

Make sure children get the credit for what they know and can do.

After maths week, I am sure children’s profiles will be full of rich observations with numeracy and mathematics featuring prominently. But, for progress to be maintained, you have to keep looking and noting as children play: What maths am I seeing now? What is new? What is different? What is important? What is surprising?

Support and Guidance
This is a good time to remind you all about the excellent resource from Education Scotland. You can find the materials on the National improvement Hub here.

Please take time to read the Guidance Document first of all. It’s only 8 pages long but it talks specifically about Early Level and the important connections with Realising the Ambition.

The other materials, for each of the key areas of Numeracy and Maths within the curriculum, have an Early Level section. I am delighted to say that there is an explicit and very helpful focus on play pedagogy and in keeping with Realising the Ambition.

You can also take a look on Twitter at the fabulous learning throughout Maths Week in Falkirk by clicking the links below:

#ArtyMathsFalkirk
#ELCArtyMaths

 

 

 

 

Arty Maths – Maths Week Scotland – 28 September

 

It’s Maths Week Scotland next week.

Excited much?????

I’ve always thought about maths and art being connected. Why? Because both disciplines are about noticing and appreciating the world around us.

 

As human beings we are drawn to things. Sometimes we don’t know why. It’s intuitive or natural. We like something because it has an appeal. In our mind’s eye it is beautiful. Often the reason for our appreciation lies in its order, symmetry, colour, shape even its movement. All of which are basic, natural, mathematical concepts.

 

 

 

Babies, toddlers and young children haven’t yet learned about the properties of shapes or the names of colours, maybe. However, they do naturally distinguish for characteristics in the way they sort or collect things around them.

Matching, sorting and grouping are essential foundational mathematical skills. It is important that we are not tempted to ‘schoolify’ this behaviour too early but rather that we provide children the opportunity to be challenged by objects and watch how they use them.

Back to art. The visual arts (drawing, painting, collage, modelling) are offered everyday in every ELC in the land. But, have you considered the contribution to children’s mathematical thinking that such experiences offer?

I think it is important to think about the visual elements of Art when thinking about the sorts of experiences children should have. When you see the elements, you will quickly recognise the connection with Mathematics.

The visual elements of art are:

  • Line
  • Colour
  • Texture
  • Shape
  • Pattern
  • Form
  • Tone

Environment

  • Thinking of your Creation Stations, have you organised the materials in a certain way to help children make choices on the basis of lines or shapes or colours?
  • In this example, materials are organised in colours but also there is thought to strips of papers, so that children can think about lines.

 

  • Have you thought about giving children different shape of paper to paint or collage on? Think about what children would learn about a triangle if they had to make decisions about what tiny marks they needed to make in the angles?
  • What about different sizes of paper and different painting tools for that size. The mathematical language that will develop will impress and astound you.

3D Modelling

So, 3D modelling is basically a mathematical/STEM experience as well as an arty one!

  • How are the materials organised in your playroom or in the outdoors? Are they all jumbled around? You might want to think about categories to help children make decisions on the basis of shape or colour or function. For example:
    • A box for objects that roll
    • A box for objects that ‘don’t roll’
    • A box for ‘see through’ or transparent objects
    • A box for ‘very small’ objects
    • A box for ‘flat’ objects
    • And on and on and on…….

Clay, Blocks and Wood

Form and pattern are visual elements of art but they are also mathematical concepts that are explored and discovered by children as they design with  clay and blocks and wood. I don’t need to say anymore about this here. Go to our wonderful Froebel in Falkirk menu in the blog for all you need to know.

You will have so many more ideas but hopefully Maths Week Scotland will give the opportunity to notice the maths in the art, to observe closely how children are thinking and behaving mathematically.

I am so excited about #ArtyMaths week in Falkirk. I know that, as always, ELC is going to embrace this opportunity to support children’s progress and to help families understand how their young child’s mathematical brain is developing.

Please do as you always do…..share and tweet. Please tag-in @FCEYTeam @NumHubChamp @FCLisaMcCabe using #ELCArtyMathsWeek #MathsWeekScot
Well done and thank you!

Lisa

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Play At Home – Success

Our #PlayAtHome week was a huge success and it’s all thanks to YOU!

The level of contribution from our ELC settings and primary schools was outstanding. On top of that was the way that families enthusiastically took part, sharing their ideas from home.

It was fabulous to see children and families enjoying play experiences. The learning opportunities were endless. We saw lots of baking, treasure hunts, role play ideas, den building, traditional games, and much much more!

Older children joined in too, so it goes to show that it’s play all the way in Falkirk.

We believe that this success is testimony to the dedication and commitment we all have to play-pedagogy and play-based learning. Long may it continue.

**Thank you and well done**

Here’s a wee SWAY montage of your tweets – there’s great ideas, so take some time to take a look.

We also have a wee video montage to share with you.


Take a look at the previous #AtHome weeks too:

 

Week beginning 20 April – #LiteracyAtHome

Week beginning 27 April – #STEMatHome (**especially good)

Week beginning 4 May – #HWBatHome

This week is #MathsAtHome week – enjoy!

Introducing #PlayAtHome Week

We want to say a huge **thank you** to our ELC and early learning colleagues and families who have supported our CS Comms #AtHome themed weeks.

So far, there have been three themes:

Week beginning 20 April – #LiteracyAtHome

Week beginning 27 April – #STEMatHome (**especially good)

Week beginning 4 May – #HWBatHome

The level of participation and engagement from settings, individual practitioners working at home when not in hubs, those in Hubs and from our families (with your support) has been simply outstanding.

Our lovely colleague and RAiSE Development Officer, Laura McCafferty, has been collating the tweets, retweets and quote tweets into a wee video. Click on the #AtHome links above to see the video and see yourself on the big screen. These videos are also great for seeing practice elsewhere and getting ideas for helping parents, carers and families support their child’s learning at home.

 

As well as these videos, you can also search on Twitter by entering the relevant #AtHome AND #JoinInFalkirk. We’ve made it a bit easier by linking these searches below. Click to go straight to the Twitter thread: #LiteracyAtHome #STEMatHome #HWBatHome

 

The big news of course is that next week (week beginning 11 May) is #PlayAtHome week.
We are so excited about showcasing the fabulous ways we are supporting learning through play and home and in our Hubs.

We know you’ll support and take part, so thank you in advance for all that you will do. We just have one small favour to ask…..remember when replying or quote tweeting (and we want lots of these) please remember to add the hashtags #JoinInFalkirk AND #PlayAtHome

Why? We need both hashtags as this is the search link we’ll use after the week finished to collate the engagement from the week. We would hate for your tweet to be missed, so please don’t forget.

With your continued help and support, #PlayAtHome is going to be a great week. Watch this space for the video collation too.

Remember to leave a reply on our blogs too.

 

**NEW** Team Twitter

The EY central team now has a team twitter account @fceyteam to help you find out what’s happening in the world of early learning in Falkirk.

 

Individual team members shared still have their own Twitter accounts and will be very happy to still communicate with you that way.

The Early Learning Improvement Team:

Lisa McCabe – Education Team Manager (@FCLisaMcCabe)

Susan McElhatton – Curriculum Support Officer (@McelhattonSusan)

Fiona Pascall – Peripatetic Early Years Teacher (@fionapascallEY)

Cheryl Smyth – Peripatetic Early Years Teacher (@CherylSmyth15)

Elaine Craigen – Peripatetic Early Years Teacher (@elaine_craigen)

Margaret Aitken – Training & Development Officer (@MargaretDAitken)

Karen Thomson – 1140 Programme Manager & Childcare Provision Co-ordinator (@Falkirk1140)

Rehana Ali – Customer & Business Support Assistant

We felt that a Team Twitter account would help us to co-ordinate key messages a bit better so that you are all connected-in easily.

If you are one of our early learning colleagues, and you are a Twitterer, please make sure you follow us @fceyteam

We would love your posts about the fab-u-lous distance learning and family engagement you are providing to flood our team twitter, so please tag us as much as you can.

Our main endeavour as a team over the coming weeks is to support your professional learning and development so that you can be gainfully occupied when not in the hubs.

Our team will post a blog each week to share with you the most up-to-date learning opportunities and to give guidance on how best to log and record your learning.

In the meantime, it is vital that you take time to read and digest the messages from Realising the Ambition – Scotland’s refreshed national practice guidance for early learning.

The professional learning pack on the National Improvement Hub helps guide your learning and offers reflection questions. It would be good to use every opportunity you have, for example via Microsoft Teams, to talk and think about RtA with colleagues in your setting and maybe those across Falkirk!

Should you have any specific requests and/or ideas about professional learning, please do not hesitate to contact us.

You could maybe drop us a wee tweet just to let us know you have found us!

#ourchildrenfirst #makingfalkirkproud #joininfalkirk #playisthewayFC

Save the date… ELC Inclusion Fund release

The next phase of the ELC Inclusion Fund opens for applications on 28 October.

This fourth round of funding is available to support children with ASN to access their full entitlement to Early Learning and Childcare.

There is criteria to follow when applying. The fund is available to purchase equipment/resources; staff training; and, to fund adaptations.

More information about the fund can be viewed here

Application forms and details are to be made available on 28 October on the Children in Scotland website.

The process is straightforward and most Falkirk bids have been successful previously. However, if you need help or support with your application please do not hesitate to contact us.

#ourchildrenfirst

 

ELC – Bake Off for Maths Week – Week Beginning 30 September

I am absolutely delighted that baking is becoming a core experience for our young children in Falkirk settings.

Many of you have locked this into your curriculum rationale stating that this rich experience supports holistic development.

Without exception, baking experiences, done regularly enough, supports children to learn important early mathematical skills such as counting, ordering/sequencing, comparing, estimating, weighing, measuring.

So, to celebrate Maths Week Scotland (w/b 30 September) we are inviting you to get involved in an authority-wide Bake Off for Maths Week.

Prof. Aline-Wendy Dunlop from Strathclyde has thrown her support behind the idea on Twitter:

“Like the word ‘mathematising’ Lisa- like Making ‘human sense’ of maths – so much to talk about in a recipe – quantity, weighing, measuring, estimating, comparing, sequencing – that’s the adult knowledge bit for great interactions – as you say counting and sorting! Lovely idea!”

We are very happy for you to do your own tasting challenge but, to win an authority prize you are asked to:

  • Keep a visual record of how children are developing and using maths knowledge and skills through baking across the week (be as creative as you want). Special consideration should be given to involving parents and the community.

Prizes are available for the best stories.

To register your involvement tweet using #FalkirkELCBakeOffForMaths Tag @FClisamccabe @Falkirk1140 @numhubchampfalk

So far, we have the following settings signed-up:

Camelon ELC Centre

Rannoch ELC Centre

Kinnaird Primary ELC

Victoria Primary ELC

Wellside ELC

St Francis Xavier Primary ELC

Easter Carmuirs Primary ELC

Beancross Primary ELC

Bainsford Primary ELC

Avonbridge Primary ELC

Comely Park Primary ELC

#getinvolved

Three. Two. One. Bake.

 

 

CLPL Calendar

The CLPL for early learning (ELC practitioners and early stages of primary) has been sent to all settings.

The calendar is presented as a powerpoint presentation which, when run as a slide show, has hyperlinks to CPD Manager. EarlyLearningCLPLProgramme20192020

Most sessions can be booked through CPD Manager but some need to be booked via email to Rehana Ali Rehana.Ali@Falkirk.gov.uk Details are on the calendar.

We know that it is important to learn together with others. That is why we are promoting that, whenever possible, more that one person from each setting accesses training opportunities.

The short course: Learning, Teaching & Assessment is delivered across two in-service days. The course is for whole teams and will provide support on all aspects of the learning cycle including planning, observation and the role of the adult in extending and deepening learning. This can be booked for your team by emailing Rehana.Ali@Falkirk.gov.uk

If you have any questions about the CLPL calendar for 2019/2020, please do not hesitate to get on touch with myself or one of the central team.

Lisa

#passionate #learned #reflective

Kym Scott – Support Materials

Over 30 Falkirk practitioners, half of the audience, attended the Power of Play by Kym Scott, which had been organised by Upstart.

Kym’s passion for play-based pedagogy and her advice was both practical and compelling.

Colleagues who attended were given a suite of helpful tools to support reflection and self-evaluation:

  • Adult-Child Interactions
  • Physical environment
  • Outdoor play and learning

These materials are available for you to view and use. Click here to go to the Early Learning Glow Site (glow username and password required).

You will find the materials under the section: Professional Development – Kym Scott Materials

Remember Kym Scott is coming to Falkirk on 27th and 28th February 2020. Save the date.

 

Resources to Support Outdoor Play and Learning

National Guidance to support high quality Outdoor Play and Learning

Outdoor Play and Learning is a key priority in our Early Learning Quality Strategy.

There are a number of important national guidance documents to support this area of priority. It is really important that pedagogical leaders and teams are conversant with the main messages in this guidance.

Care Inspectorate has been in touch to say that every setting will receive a hard copy towards the end of July of the Space to Grow Indoor Outdoor Settings guidance. In the meantime you can access the document here via the Care Inspectorate HUB.

It is really important that we are all clear on what it is to be an indoor/outdoor ELC settings. This definition from the guidance is very helpful,

“An indoor/outdoor setting is a premises-based setting where the scale and quality of the outdoor space is appropriate for enhancing the child’s quality of play and learning experiences. High quality natural outdoor space combined with high-quality indoor space and quality opportunities and experiences for children are all taken into account when considering the number of children the setting is registered for. Both the indoor and the outdoor area must be accessible to the children 100% of the operational times. An indoor/outdoor setting will take account of the practices of a solely outdoor or satellite setting.” (emphasis added)

Page 8

We are absolutely delighted that our very own Nethermains Nursery Class is featured in the document (pages 29 & 30). If you are interested in finding out more, do not hesitate to contact Ashley Cupples, EY Pedagogue.

Page 26 gives practical hints and tips on what practitioners need to consider before embarking on establishing an indoor/outdoor approach.

The resource should act as a tool to be used in conjunction with:

Space to Grow

Out to Play

My World Outdoors

Practice Note: Early Learning and Childcare: Delivering High Quality Play and Learning Environments Outdoors