It’s Maths Week Scotland next week.
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 know many of you have been keenly awaiting the publication of the Loose Parts Toolkit 2019. Find it here https://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/publication/loose-parts-play-toolkit-2019-edition/
I am especially pleased to be recommending the toolkit to you due to the emphasis in the document on the role of the adult, which is one of our big priorities this session. Chapter 3 is a must read.
I’d love to read your comments about the document and would be grateful for any advice /support for others you’d like to share. Read more
The Early Years Curriculum team are aware that many of Falkirk’s EYC settings have been or currently are focusing on developing their use loose parts as part of their provision. Inspiring Scotland have produced a toolkit which we would encourage practitioners within these settings to use to reflect on their provision of loose parts play. The Loose Parts Play toolkit was produced to support people working with children and young people across all age ranges and settings. It aims:
• To raise awareness of the value of loose parts to children’s play
• To provide practical guidance about loose parts play to those who work with children and young people of all ages
• To advocate the use of loose parts as an approach to developing play opportunities at home, school and in the community.