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Sara Dorrington

on 28 November 2013

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in the real world

Mathematics and Numeracy
Mathematical Phenomena
Examples of fun and exciting learning environments for children to learn both Mathematics and Numeracy in early childhood.
Snakes and ladders
Using Numeracy in the classroom

A fun game using Numeracy in the classroom would be a game of Snakes and Ladders. This game would appeal to a child in year 1 or 2 and would help them learn mathematical concepts through play.
The game uses charts with squares, a dice representing Geometric shapes, It uses number valuing and counting and basic Arithmetic. The process of learning these mathematic concepts in the classroom in comparison to this numeracy activity could be using an activity sheet with arithmetic equations.

For example:

Mathisfun (2013)
Numeracy, Mathematics and Education
The Australian curriculum,ACARA(2013) has identified the importance of both numeracy and mathematics in education and has incorporated both principles in teaching for early childhood through to year ten. The approach has been adopted to ensure students have proficiency in both numeracy and mathematical skills which allows them to reach a particular level of knowledge set by the standards of curriculum .These standards ensure that students are at an adequate level throughout school and beyond.
The year level descriptions emphasise the importance of working mathematically within the content. The curriculum is outlined by content strands and proficiency strands.
The content strands target mathematical concepts and are linked together as numbers and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. The proficiency strands focuses on Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning adapted to use in the real world. ACARA (2013)
Cooking Anzac biscuits
Mathematics vs Numeracy
Similarities between Maths and Numeracy
Numeracy is now becoming a priority in school education. Mathematics and Numeracy interrelate and it is now evident the importance that mathematics has on the development of young peoples numeracy skills. Mathematics and numeracy together can be described as two Literacy's, one language. Steen, (2001)
Mathematics and Numeracy both uses Arithmetic to solve particular problems weather it is solved by probability as in Numeracy or by using equations in the classroom.
Numeracy= everyone's business (1997)
Mathematics and numeracy are around us everywhere. We learn mathematics at school and become numerate so we can use numeracy in real life. Numeracy is the foundation of mathematics, it provides the essential skills needed for problem solving, processing information, making decisions and interpreting data. National Numeracy for everyone, for life (2013) Mathematics is only taught in the classroom, it is the ability to use a form of abstract logical reasoning to answer particular types of problems. Mathematics can be described as the study of quantity, structure, space and change. The difference of Numeracy and Mathematics (2011)
Mathematics provides proficiency and understanding of numbers in the classroom.

Numeracy is using numbers and solving problems in real life.
Mathematics is calculus, quadratic, equations and statistical analysis.

Numeracy is using a clock to tell time, staying at the right speed limit and measuring the distance you travel.
Mathematics is Arithmetic in the classroom.

Numeracy is handling money, building structures, baking a cake or playing a game of sport. Numeracy=everyone's business (1997)
Building blocks
Using building blocks in early childhood is a fun and innovative way for children to learn and identify shapes for mathematical understanding in Geometry. Each block can represent a different shape and children can learn to identify these shapes through play. This visual learning activity in numeracy can help children identify how different shapes can make different structures. This activity is ideal for kindergarten or Prep children.
A mathematical activity in the classroom with similar learning outcomes could be the use of wall charts.
For example:

Mathisfun (2013)
Cooking and Numeracy

A fun exciting way to introduce children to measurement would be to perform a numeracy cooking exercise making Anzac biscuits. This activity requires children to use tools and methods for measuring ingredients in a practical fun way. They may use the measurement terms of millilitre's, grams and degrees when using the oven.

In comparison with this numeracy activity a mathematical activity used in the classroom to teach the concept of measurement may be; communication from the teacher followed by an academic activity. The teacher may communicate the quantities of measurement for example: How many grams in a kilogram. Kitchen Math and Measuring (2010)
The Fibonacci sequence:Natures code

Numbers we see in nature all the time
This sequence of numbers developed by mathematician Fibonacci in 1202 exists in all flowers and plants.
Sci show (2012)
In this sequence the 1st and 2nd number add up to the 3rd number, the 2nd and 3rd number add up to the 4th number and so on. This phenomena in nature exists all over the world in our flower and plant species and in pine cones.

There are many mathematical phenomena found in nature that represent Geometric patterns. Two examples of these patterns found in nature are:

A spiral shell, this shell is a geometric shape called a Logarithmic spiral. The shell is found in our ocean or on the sand.
A Spider web, spun by a spider. The spider web contains a geometric pattern and is a phenomena in nature. Del Sole (2011)

The early Learning Framework EYLF (2012) for Early childhood acknowledges the importance of children and their experiences in the natural world. Framework outcome number two states that children are connected and contribute to their world and that nature learning experiences happen when young children interact with the natural world. Mathematical Phenomena in nature can help a child identify structures and patterns in the environment.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2013). Mathematics: Foundation to year 10 curriculum. Retrieved from

Department of Education, Employment and workplace relations. (2013). Early Years Learning Framework. Retrieved from

Department of Employment, Education, Training and youth Affairs. (1997). Numeracy=Everyone's Business. Retrieved from

Del Sole, J. (2011, June). Math in Nature [video file]. Retrieved from

Kitchen Math and Measuring. (2010). Learning Seed. Retrieved from

MathisFun. (2013). Retrieved from

National Numeracy. (2013). What is Numeracy. Retrieved from

Sci Show. (2012, August 17). The Fibonacci Sequence: Natures Code [ video file ]. Retrieved from

Steen, L.A. (2001). Mathematics and Numeracy: Two Literacies, One Language. [ wed doccument ]. Retrieved from

The difference between Mathematics and Numeracy. (2011). When a quality learning environment is possible Mathematically. Retrieved from

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