The world is a mathematical place. The natural and built worlds provide dynamic and constantly changing environments, offering an endless supply of patterns, textures, colours, quantities and other attributes that underpin much of the necessary early maths experiences. Children need lots of physical experiences that embody what maths is all about. For example, how much easier is it to understand the concept of weight if you can repeatedly lift, move and carry a range of heavy and light objects?
Juliet Robertson believes that every child and every adult is mathematically able. By sharing ideas and enjoying great mathematical conversations we can all deepen our understanding of the value of maths. Being outside makes maths real. In the classroom, maths can seem disconnected from everyday experience. Real maths is really messy. Aside from mud pies and puddles, the cognitive processes involved mean it is not a smooth linear pathway of learning but rather an interconnected network. Lots of playing and activity along the way is a must. Children need time to make sense of the abstract ideas of maths through experiential processes along with lots of opportunities to ponder, enjoy and discuss the concepts encountered. Messy Maths is packed full of activities to encourage children to learn through hands-on experience.
Suitable for early years educators (of ages 3–6).