Supporting early mathematical thinking in ECE settings

Children are surprisingly motivated and able to engage in mathematical thinking and problem-solving before they begin formal schooling, and are thought to understand some mathematical concepts intuitively from birth.

In this webinar, early childhood researcher Dr Erica Zippert talks about how to support children to explore and develop their understanding of foundational maths skills involving numeracy, patterns, and spatial understanding. By being aware of the foundational maths skills that children are ready to learn and demonstrate in early childhood, teachers can recognise when children are practising those skills on their own during play, and intentionally design and incorporate ways to support and develop these skills into the curriculum.

To help you navigate the webinar easily, there is a list of the key topics covered in the session below, including the time each was discussed. The key ideas discussed in this webinar are also shared in a short insight article.

Topics discussed in this webinar

Times shown in minutes and seconds from the start of the video

2.45Important early numeracy maths skills
15.47Important skills in shape, space, and patterning
27.27Supporting children to explore maths concepts in play
38.19Supporting children’s mathematical learning with guided experiences
50.48Concluding comments

Questions for exploring the key ideas from this webinar

What skills can you see children practising or exploring in play?

What manipulatives and materials do you have that will support children to investigate mathematical skills and concepts?

Do your environments and resources promote skill development in spatial skills, shape knowledge, and patterning as well as numeracy?

What teacher-guided opportunities does your programme offer for children to consolidate and extend mathematical skills?

How might you promote more mathematical language in teachers’ interactions with children?

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