# Math Around Us

Mathematics is all around us at home and at school. From doing jigsaws and playing Connect 4 during Discovery time, to more structured learning experiences.

Students, use these opportunities to gain an understanding of mathematical principles, without even knowing it.

Mathematics in the first year of school concentrates on Number. That doesn’t mean that students won’t be exposed to Geometry, Statistics, and Measurement, 80 percent of the focus will be on using Number strategies. Learning to identify ‘how many’ in sets of objects is the precursor to learning other parts of the maths curriculum.

Teachers often talk about ‘one-to-one matching.’ This describes the connection between the words spoken, and the objects in the set. For a count to be accurate, each object must be assigned one word in the number sequence. Once students count by ones they can learn to ‘skip count’, or count in multiples of a given number.

So how does this translate to classroom activities? Room 15 start our maths sessions with a warm up. This is usually focused on counting numbers forwards and backwards, practising numbers that come before or after and being able to recognise these numbers quickly both in the written and number form.

We play games like Squeeze. Students love this game. One student chooses a ‘mystery’ number between 0 and 20. They write it on a piece of paper and only show the peg holders. The rest of the class then ask questions like, is it before or after a certain number. The two pegs get moved so that in the end only one or two numbers are left.

Playing maths games also encourages turn taking, coping with disappointment and sharing ideas. Students also have opportunities to support their peers and learn together.

Mathematics, Number,  count on, visualise

## Gwen Bowler

Education has no beginning and no end. It ebbs and flows and is ever-changing. As an educator, it is my responsibility to instill a love of learning and an ability to adapt to an ever-changing world.

My teaching journey started at 40 when I retrained as a teacher after a career in journalism and many years as a stay-at-home mother. When we guide our students to be lifelong learners, we send them towards their next journey well-prepared for whatever life brings.