Welcome to your CM Network Bulletin
Occasionally a picture-story book
will trigger some mathematical
explorations, in this instance,
counting and addition. The teacher
had read the story ‘One is a Snail,
Ten is a Crab’ (2006) by Pulley
Sayre, A., Sayre, J. and Cecil, R.
The children were very excited by
this and wanted to find creatures to
calculate their own chosen total.
Shimae decided to ‘find out what
100 is’. She wrote the number ‘100’
and as she progressed, counted the
legs of each creature she drew.
After a while she said that so much
counting was difficult, and an adult
counted with her, Shimae noting the
total she counted each time. When
she reached 100 she wrote ‘6 spidr 3
insec 1 pursn a well (whale) 1
children explored different
quantities, allowing them all to
differentiate according to the
number they felt able to deal with.
Harrison (not shown) had chosen to
work out which creatures to select
so that their feet would total 11.
He began by explaining, ‘I don’t
know how to draw spiders, so I’m
just going to do the legs.’ Next he
drew two additional legs, saying
‘one person’, and then counted them
all: ‘One, two, three, four… ten’.
Now I just need one more – it’s a
snail. There! That’s eleven
The children used a range of ways of
representing, such as Jamie’s
written response below:
also chose ‘100’, ‘because that’s
massive!’ He wrote ‘9 peeple’ and
then used his fingers to count in
twos, writing ‘1 optpus 2 spiders,
admitting ‘This is getting hard now.
I know! I can write it down each
time and count on!’ When he neared
his total he added ‘9 spiders’, then
crossed it out and wrote ‘8’,
explaining ‘Nine makes too many legs
– so I had to take one off to make
the right amount.’
love to challenge themselves, and
analysing thousands of children’s
examples we have never found a child
who planned to work on something
that was too easy: they either match
what they do to their understanding,
or stretch themselves to go beyond
what they have previously done.
The emergence of graphic symbols and
texts in pretend play
Children's graphic symbols and texts
in self-initiated contexts.
Most Recent publications:
Worthington, M. and Van Oers, B. (2016)
Pretend Play and the cultural foundations of
mathematics. European Early Childhood Education Research
Journal 24 (1). 51-66.
Worthington, M. and Van Oers, B. (2015)
Children’s social literacies: Meaning making and the
emergence of graphical signs and texts in pretence.
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy 16(1), 1-29.
Carruthers, E. (2015).
Listening to children's mathematics in school.
In B. Perry., A. Gervasoni and A. MacDonald. Eds.
Mathematics and Transition to School - International
Perspectives. Sydney, Australia: Springer.
Courses and Conferences
Courses and Conferences: