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## Planned learning

Educators focus on the following aspects of children’s learning:

- Interest in exploring, recognising and making connections between patterns and relationships in everyday situations.
- Developing awareness and understanding of the symbol systems associated with number, time and money.
- Interest in counting, sorting, categorising, ordering and comparing collections, and in predicting sequences and events.
- Developing ability to describe the attributes and properties of shapes, objects and materials.
- Developing vocabulary to convey mathematical thinking and ideas.
- Increasing understanding of mathematical concepts using vocabulary or gesture to describe size, length, volume, capacity, number, position, direction, time and money.
- Interest in creating and using representation to organise, record and communicate mathematical ideas and concepts.

## Pedagogy

Educators intentionally promote this learning, for example, when they:

- use numbers spontaneously or in everyday conversations and interactions, for example, during finger plays, games, songs, rhymes and chants
- incorporate cultural events, symbols and experiences that involve patterns of repeated sequences, for example, in movement, songs, art, games, dance, manipulative play, routines and stories
- draw children’s attention to patterns in the environment, such as leaves in sunlight, waves on sand, spider webs, bark on trees, birds in the sky, tracks in the sand
- encourage experimentation with space, measurement, position, sorting and classification
- provide explicit prompts to help children make abstract connections, for example, ‘look at this one – it’s bigger than that one’, ‘can you see a big one too?’
- draw attention to and label concepts of difference, such as ‘more’ and ‘less’, ‘big’ and ‘small’, ‘over’ and ‘under’
- draw attention to and label numerical symbols in the environment, e.g. calendars and clocks, page numbers in books, number plates on cars, signs and advertising, keyboards, mobile phones, GPS
- engage children in discussions about symbol systems, such as letters, numbers, time, money and musical notation
- model the process of counting to solve everyday problems, for example, ‘how many do you think we need?’ ‘let’s count together!’
- provoke thought in children’s everyday conversations, for example, ‘I wonder if it’s full yet?’ ‘that’s a big one!’ ‘let’s look under the table!’
- provide intentional prompts to assist children to recall numeracy ideas, for example ‘can you remember when we counted up to 5?’
- support children’s contribution to mathematical and scientific discussions and arguments
- acknowledge children’s effort, interest and experimentation with numeracy ideas, for example, ‘let’s make a list!’, ‘draw a plan’
- provide multiple opportunities for children to experiment with the properties of sand, water, blocks and natural materials
- incorporate opportunities to make a whole, take away from, or cut in half, for example, games, clay, play dough and cooking experiences.

## Documenting and reflecting

Educators look for evidence of children’s learning. Examples are listed below.

In the familiar contexts of family and community when children:

- use environmental markers to determine direction and position
- make sense and order of their world through kinship patterns and relationships
- mimick counting, for example, 1, 4, 3
- hold up fingers to indicate ‘how many’ or ‘how old they are’, for example, ‘I dis many’
- show an acute sense of spatial awareness and an intuitive feel for the surroundings and the objects in them
- understand time in terms of, for example, night time, day time, bird hunting season and bush food picking seasons
- make designs and patterns in play, dance and art.

In new and unfamiliar contexts of an early learning program when children:

- play randomly with materials and resources
- use gesture to communicate size, for example, use hands to indicate ‘how big’ ‘how long’
- use modelled language to talk about the properties of shapes or patterns
- experiment with combining objects and parts, for example, a puzzle or a mobile truck
- attempt to use words to describe shapes, for example, round, square or star
- imitate adults or other children using money in play
- begin to respond to simple one-step directions to show understanding of position, for example, ‘sit on the chair’, ‘put the rubbish in the bin’.

In the familiar contexts of a culturally secure early learning program when children:

- explore, sort and describe the attributes of objects and collections
- experiment in play with mathematical tools, such as rulers, tape measures, calculators, scales and measuring cups
- dismantle, reassemble and combine objects and parts with purpose
- recite number names in familiar songs, finger plays and games
- respond to directions involving position, for example, ‘over’, ‘under’, ‘on’, ‘up’ and ‘down’
- respond to concepts such as big, small, long, short, high, low, full, empty, heavy and light in play
- recognise some comparative language, for example, ‘this one is bigger’ ‘I need more’
- use words like ‘long’ and ‘tall’ in simple sentences
- pretend to exchange money in play
- respond to ‘time’ words such as start, finish, begin and end.

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