Ten Town and the revised EYFS
We have been assessing how best to align Ten Town to the revised framework and Development Matters guidance. As well as studying the new EYFS documentation, we have also been analysing current research to help inform how we update our resources. We found the paper published by the Education Endowment Foundation, “Improving Maths in the Early Years and Key Stage 1”, particularly informative.
The key point that we have taken from studying the new guidance is the importance of children achieving a deep understanding of numbers to 10, rather than more superficial knowledge to 20.
In light of this, we will be further expanding our 0 to 10 resources with the addition of new online games, practical activities and physical resources. We are also introducing “recap” areas at 5 and 10 to ensure the maths skills have been embedded before moving on to higher numbers.
New online games
We are devising a range of new online games that will cover concepts including: subitising, number bonds, number composition and linking numerals to cardinal value.
The first two of these games are now on the site and ready to play!
Build a bridge game – This new game is designed to develop number bond skills. The player has to build a bridge to help a Ten Town character cross a river by joining together two sections to make the correct length bridge. There will be three levels to help differentiate the learning.
Find the marbles game – This new game is designed to develop subitising skills. Different sets of marbles are hidden under three bowls, and the player is given around two seconds to identify the number of marbles under each bowl.
Recap games – Later in the year, we will also be adding a new online Recap areas at 5 and 10. This will feature activities that will allow the children to test and reinforce their skills across a range of numbers. It will also be an opportunity for teachers to assess their children’s progress.
Research suggests that there needs to be a balance of child-initiated play along with explicit teaching to develop children’s understanding of mathematical concepts. This doesn’t mean the learning needs to be “formal” and it is best delivered in short and playful sessions.
The original practical activities helped children to develop an understanding of the value of each number using manipulatives and representations. The practical activities give the children a real-life purpose so they are not just counting out four counters or four pebbles. Instead, they are helping Freddie Four get ready for an expedition by packing four items into his backpack.
While the original practical activities provided a good basis, in order to align to the new guidelines we have reworked them to ensure they are focused across a wider range of maths skills.
The activities are now divided into three new categories:
At the top of each activity we have devised a key to give a quick guide to the skills covered – Counting; Subitising; Bonds and Composition; More, Less or Equal; Space, Shape and Measures.
The focus for all the activities is to provide a fun and enabling environment to develop specific maths skills.
We are also introducing new physical resources, the first of which is an extended matching pairs game. The pack features eight different sets of cards to enable children to practice matching numerals to their cardinal value, these include:
Research has also shown that board games in which the player rolls a dice and “counts on”, are a particularly effective way to practise counting skills. Therefore, we are planning to develop a Ten Town board game in which the player moves around Ten Town delivering items to different characters.
Not all the resources will be ready for September, but we see this as an ongoing process and a really exciting time for Ten Town.
Ten Town already helps to stimulate a real interest in maths and supports children to build strong basic numeracy skills. The addition of these new resources will enable children to develop an even deeper understanding of numbers 0 to 10 and provide an excellent foundation for them to progress in maths.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries about Ten Town and the introduction of the new framework.
Creative Director, Ten Town
BA Hons, PGCE, PG Dip Dyslexia, Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching & Learning (New Zealand).