This week, I chose to look at the children’s book ‘Ten Apples Up On Top’, by Dr. Seuss.
The book explores many mathematical concepts, such as:
- Counting to 10
- Counting forwards
- Counting backwards
- Counting in ones
The majority of the mathematical language which is explored within the book, is the written words for the numbers one, through to ten. I feel that this makes the book perfectly suited to the early years, when introducing and reinforcing counting.
Props which I felt could be used alongside the book are:
- The apples. Children could use apples, like in the story, and count how many they have. The numbers of apples should vary when comparing the amount of apples each child has. The children can practice addition and subtraction, for example – ‘If I have 4 apples and give away/receive 2, how many do I have now?’
- The children can then move on to practicing with numbers higher than 10, when they reach an appropriate level.
The vocabulary which is used throughout this book seems fairly suitable for an early years classroom, as the mathematical language which is used is mostly only for the numbers one to ten. However, if I was to use this book in the classroom, I would keep a focus on the sentence structures within the book, as sentences are often structured differently to what we would expect, in order to fit the rhyme. It would be important, especially within an early years environment, that the children do not begin to follow those patterns within their everyday writing.
In my opinion, active learning is very beneficial. One of the most important benefits to active learning is that it develops a positive attitude towards learning. It is very common for people to associate education with stress, for example when it comes to exams, however active learning provides the opportunity to associate learning with fun and play. This is beneficial to you as you are more likely to retain and remember information by engaging with learning through the school year, rather than trying to memorise everything last minute for an exam. I also feel the by engaging with your learning you will develop more confidence towards you own knowledge and understanding of topics.
Personally, I think that co-operative working is a very useful teaching strategy as it provides an opportunity for people of different levels of ability to use a wider range of learning techniques to better their knowledge of a topic. Co-operative working gives each member of the group a sense of responsibility – you feel responsible for learning what you are being taught, and also for teaching your peers and trying to help them to develop their understanding. Co-operative working is also a beneficial strategy as it helps pupils to get to know each other better and so can develop relationships between peers. Co-operative learning allows for discussion between peers and so can cover a large range of viewpoints and give a wider insight into topics, allowing pupils to see all aspects and potentially discuss aspects which the teacher has not covered. Working as a group also improves communication skills and so is not only beneficial in the school environment but in social situations as well.