Favourite stories and tales can be lovely ways to encourage talk around mathematical concepts and lead to further exploration. I thought it would be fun to have a try at this ourselves this week!
In the book ‘Big Ideas of Early Mathematics’ is an example of where a Reception class had enjoyed a book so much – the book in question was ‘Dear Peter Rabbit’ by Alma Flor Ada – that it lead to a mathematical exploration.
In the book, a variety of characters from different traditional tales are invited to a party and so the children were asked to plan which characters they would invite to their party. The children were allowed to invite 10 characters and had to present a poster showing the name of the story and how many from that story were to be invited. At the party, you could have Goldilocks and the three bears – this would be 4 of the invitees, then Hansel and Gretel, leaving 4 more to invite - perhaps the three little pigs and the big bad wolf (who would of course be on his best behaviour!).
Here, the idea that within the number 10 live other numbers – so 10 being constructed of 4 + 2 + 4 – was the mathematical concept being explored. The children could then find different ways of regrouping 10 – maybe the three blind mice and the seven dwarves – or if they wanted to invite Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey, how many more characters would they be able to invite?
Encourage your child to represent their characters as a part whole diagram as shown below: