Tuesday, 22 January 2019

miniMATHS - 1. How many leaves?

from the "miniMATHS - Maths Inqiries in Nature" booklet

The tasks are organised based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). I linked each task to one of the five outcomes and put them in numerical order.

Outcome 1 - Children have a strong sense of identity
Task 1 - How many leaves?

The task is simple to set up. Draw a square in the dirt. See how many leaves you need to fill it up.

It is measuring area using informal units.

But you can take this to interesting places:

- move the leaves around in different arrangements to see if the number you need stays the same
- try using different types of leaves
- try using different sized shapes to fill up
- even try using the children themselves to fill up big spaces

One of the important ideas we want to experience is that "area is the space inside". And we can measure it.

from the "miniMATHS - Maths Inqiries in Nature" booklet

One of the important ideas presented in the EYLF outcome #1 relates to perspective. The "How many leaves?" task provides opportunities for students to explore the area of the square in many different ways and to understand that different people will find different solutions.

"Comparison" is another important concept that this task highlights, finding the area of a shape and comparing materials and strategies to complete it.

This task is ideal for small group interaction and is firmly based in the Nature Play pedagogy, using natural materials in a natural setting. Students can play with the idea and modify it to pursue their own questions and interests.

I would be interested in getting feedback from teachers who try out this task in their own schools. I would be particularly interested in hearing what the students have to say. 

Let me know.


Here's the miniMATHS website:

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