How to support your Child's Maths Learning
How to support your Child's Maths Learning
With Grapat Mandala Rainbow Eggs
The new addition to Grapat’s mandala range opens up endless opportunities for play and learning at home. The uniform shape of the rainbow eggs, coupled with the variety in colour, provide a unique opportunity for this item to be utilised as not only a beautiful toy, but as a quality mathematical resource which can be used to support your child’s learning. Here we are going to discuss two key mathematical concepts that are essential for our early learners; One-to-One Correspondence and Number Bonds to Ten. We will share what these concepts are and provide you with some simple ideas on how you can use your beautiful materials from Oskar’s Wooden Ark to support your children’s learning at home.
How can you use rainbow eggs at home to support your early learner’s mathematical understanding? One-to-One correspondence is an essential early mathematical concept. It is the idea that numbers correspond to specific quantities. It is the act of counting each object in a set once, and only once with one touch per object. It is important to note here that, rote counting and counting with one-to-one correspondence are very different skills. Rote counting is simply reciting the numeral names in order. Whereas, counting with one-to-one correspondence involves physically touching each object and saying the numeral name aloud. It is the understanding that each object forms one part of the collection.
Although one-to-one correspondence might sound simple, it requires first the rote recall of number order and then for this knowledge to be coordinated with motor movement and speech. Whilst this is a concept most adults take for granted, it is a complex skill for young children and is essential to our early learners as it is a precursor to almost every numeracy concept they will encounter. You can support your child by providing regular opportunities to practice counting with concrete manipulatives. There are many ways that you can encourage and practice one-to-one correspondence with your young learners at home.
Here are some ideas:
You could play ‘Spill the Eggs’. Put a certain number of rainbow eggs into a container (how many very much depends on the understanding of your child; start small to boost confidence then progress to larger amounts) and take turns ‘spilling’ them. Alternate who will count the spilt eggs, using your fingers to touch each egg as you count. Remember the importance of role modelling here. To see this game in action, watch the Spill the Eggs video below.
Here a child is playing Spill the Eggs. They are using a yellow Grimm's Small Sorting Box, the largest bowl from the Grimm's Natural Stacking Bowl set and the Grapat Rainbow Eggs.
Classifying and sorting is another important mathematical skill and you can easily set up a simple provocation using the Grimm's Rainbow Sorting Game, a bowl and your Grapat Rainbow Eggs. Place the rainbow eggs in the bowl and set out the coloured bowls from the Sorting Game. Vary the number of rainbow eggs you place into each bowl. Invite your learner to sort the eggs. It is interesting to watch how young children problem solve when presented with varying shades of the same colour. This provides excellent opportunities for discussion and investigation. Once the eggs have been sorted, ask your child to count how many eggs are in each bowl. Can you order the groups from smallest to largest? Which group has the most? Which group has the least? How many eggs are there altogether? To see this in action, watch the Colour Counting video below.
Involving containers in your invitations to play and learn, especially those that have ten openings, is another fabulous way of practicing one-to-one correspondence and investigating numbers. “Ten frames” are an invaluable tool for teaching number sense. They help children to visualise numbers up to ten and, as your learners grow and develop, will help to form the basis for understanding our place value system. You might remove the last two sections of an egg carton, use the Kontu ten (or five) frame, the Treasures from Jennifer Ten Frame, line up ten (2 rows of 5) Grapat rings or use coloured tape to create your own ten frame on your floor or table. For children beginning to count with one-to-one correspondence, or those who require encouragement, start with a five frame. The Kontu Stem blocks are a fabulous resource here.
Here the Grapat Natural Rings have been lined up to form a ten frame.
This four year old is counting to ten by placing an egg in each ring, thus visually reinforcing the concept that each object forms one part of the collection.
How to use tens frames at home to support counting with one-to-one correspondence:
• Roll a dice and place the correct number of eggs in the container, with one egg per opening to demonstrate the concept clearly. This game provides two opportunities to practice one-to-one correspondence per turn; the first when counting the dots on the dice and the second when counting out the eggs into the tray. If you want to create competition, give each player a ‘ten frame’. The first person to fill their frame wins the game. Here the Grapat Natural Rings have been lined up to form a ten frame.
• Give your child a deck of cards (the Grimm's Number Cards work beautifully here), a bowl of rainbow eggs and a ten frame. Have your child turn over a card and put that many rainbow eggs into the ten frame. Talk about the number; “4! You have four rainbow eggs in your ten frame. Is that more or less than five? How many more eggs would you need to make five? How many more eggs would you need to make ten? You’re right; four and six make ten!” To see this in action, watch the Ten Frames video below.
• Set out an invitation to learn and play using your Treasures from Jennifer Hundreds Board, letters and numbers with your Grapat Mandala Rainbow Eggs. Sit with your child, identify each number and place the corresponding number of rainbow eggs next to it. Sometimes the simplest activities end up evoking the most imagination, learning and discussion.
Using Kontu ten and five frames with Grapat mandala pieces and the From Jennifer Numbers creates a simple invitation to learn.
You will know your child has mastered the skill of one-to-one correspondence when they are able to:
• Correctly count how many objects are shown, both within a straight line and also when presented in a random group.
• Be given a number and produce that amount of objects.
• Touch each object and say the number name without skipping any numerals, arriving at the correct number of counters.
• Match numbers – you could have your child match rainbow eggs to dots on a piece of paper or give a rainbow egg to each teddy/toy.
Here a young learner is matching the numerals to their quantity.
Number Bonds to 10
For older children, having a solid understanding of number bonds to ten lays an important foundation for later arithmetic. However, before you can think about numerals in an abstract way and use mental mathematical skills, you need to start with manipulatives. Grapat rainbow eggs are an excellent resource to support this important learning.
So, what is a number bond?
A number bond (also sometimes known as an ‘addition fact’) is a simple addition sum which has become so familiar that a child can recognise it and complete it almost instantly. Number bonds teach a variety of mathematical concepts all in one problem. Number bonds:
• Provide a mental picture that a number can be divided into “pieces.”
• Increase fact family fluency. Children begin to recognise and memorise the patterns they see when they practice completing number bonds.
• Provide a foundation for more complex mathematical strategies.
• Teach addition and subtraction at the same time.
Why are number bonds important?
Knowing number bonds fluently up to ten is one of the foundations to more complex arithmetic and enables children to compute mental arithmetic. Number bonds allow children to split numbers, show how numbers join together and how they break down into component parts. Number bonds can be drawn on paper with two or more parts that are connected to a whole. With regular practice, your child should learn number bonds to 10 automaticity. Meaning, that when given two parts, your child will know the whole without counting.
Concrete materials provide opportunities for children to create rich understandings of number bonds.
A number bond.
How can you practice number bonds at home?
The great news is that working with number bonds requires very little setup.
Create a template based on the photo above - (laminate or slip into a glossy sheet protector and your child can write on it with a dry erase marker).
Grapat rainbow eggs (or other mandala pieces)
3 Grapat Large Hoops (optional but excellent for regular practice of the concept with concrete materials).
Treasures from Jennifer Number Blocks and Grimms Number Cards work well to further illustrate the concept as a number sentence.
Set out your rainbow eggs in the provided box, a tray or bowl. Ask your child to count out 10 eggs. Have your child start by putting all 10 of the eggs into the whole of the number bond. Count out ten more eggs. Ask your child to split the eggs from the whole (10) into the parts to find all of the combinations that make 10. As each new bond is made, verbalise the bond; “2 and 8 make 10”. This is a good opportunity to use your Treasures from Jennifer Number Blocks or Grimm's Number Cards to create the number sentence (2+8=10).
To add interest and variety, trace your child’s hands onto a paper. Laminate it or slip it into a clear protective sleeve. Have your child (as described above) create number bonds for ten placing Grapat Mandala pieces above each finger and then using a dry erase marker, recording the number bond.
To help your child develop automaticity with number bonds to 10, make it fun! You could:
•Place the first eggs in the number bond and have your child complete the missing part. Swap roles and have your child check that you have found the correct missing part of the bond; a little silliness goes a long way here!
•Create stories together to ‘illustrate’ your number bonds. This is a fabulous opportunity to use a variety of different Grapat mandala pieces, thus adding magic to the stories. Make sure to watch the video at the start of this section to see number bonds in action.
An invitation to investigate number bonds. Here the Grimm's circular Disc for the Annual Calendar has been used as a base with the Grapat Rainbow Eggs, From Jennifer Numbers and the large Grapat hoops.
“Manipulatives can be key in providing effective, active, engaging lessons in the teaching of mathematics. Manipulatives help students learn by allowing them to move from concrete experiences to abstract reasoning.” (Heddens, 1986; Reisman, 1982; Ross and Kurtz, 1993).
Extend upon the learning:
When your child is able to automatically recall number bonds to 10, move to the teen numbers.
Article credit: Kate @exploringlifetogether_ (Instagram) - talented teacher, Home Educator and Oskar's Wooden Ark Content Creator. Thank you Kate for sharing this informative guide and wonderful collection of photographs with us.