How to Teach at Early Childhood Care and Education-Teaching Tips for Teacher for Maximum Learning Outcome
Just as exercising the body is important to keep it fit and healthy, so too is exercising the mind. Games of strategy, logic and word puzzles, and recreational mathematics are the best way to excite children about mathematics, and to develop the logical skills that are so critical throughout their school years and indeed throughout life.National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022
Jigsaw puzzles, playing with blocks, and solving mazes help to develop a child’s spatial reasoning; games of strategy (e.g., tic-tac-toe, and leading up to deeper games like chess) develop strategic
thinking and problem-solving skills.
Playing games (e.g., Chaupad, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo) is fun – it also teaches counting, strategy, collaboration, healthy competition, bonding with peers.
- A Simple Arithmetic Game with Pebbles
- Some games require minimal material, but such games can often be the most fun, addictive, and instructive. The following ‘10 Pebbles Game’ can be appreciated at many levels. It can
- be played by the youngest children yet be revisited again and again due to the deep mathematical concepts it reveals and leads to.
- Start with a pile of 10 pebbles (10 coins, stones or beads or anything else may be used instead of pebbles). Two players alternate taking away one or two pebbles from the pile. The player to take away the very last pebble in the pile wins!
This game can be played multiples times, with the two players alternating as to who starts the game first. The children can play this game over and over until they start to pick up different strategies for winning. After some games, the Teacher can ask a child, “Do you prefer to be the first player or the second player? Why?” This fun game teaches arithmetic reasoning as the child starts to think about strategy.
Variations include using, e.g., 10 or 21 objects, where the player is allowed to take 1, 2, or 3 objects in each turn.
Once children can count and add small numbers, one does not even need any objects any more to play the game. The first player starts by saying the number 1 or 2; then the second player adds 1 or 2 to the first player’s number and says that number; then the first player adds 1 or 2 to the last number said and says that number as it goes on. They alternate, and the player that says “10” first wins.
The Teacher can ask children, “Why is this game the same as the 10 Pebbles Game?” This exercise gets children to think about the concept of correspondence between number words and cardinalities of objects.
Riddles and jokes are questions or statements that are intentionally phrased so as to require out of-the-box thinking in order to understand the answer or meaning – they are also generally presented as games. Riddles and jokes are well known to be cognitively beneficial, as they help knock children and adults alike out of standard ways of thinking, thus encouraging creativity and innovation.
Word and logic puzzles are another fun way to teach deductive reasoning. Simple puzzles such as those in the box above help develop in children’s skills of logical and creative thinking in an enjoyable manner. The puzzles can get more challenging, and incorporate arithmetic and other elements,National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022
as children get older. Arithmetic puzzles and games can help develop a comfort with numbers and develop quantitative reasoning.
Making learning enjoyable through fun exercises, games, and puzzles can be a key aspect in ensuring that children stay engaged and at the same time develop mental capacity and creativity.
Puzzles and problem-solving activities that involve spatial reasoning, wordplay, strategy, logic and arithmetic, should be part of the classroom throughout the Foundational Stage, in order to develop a love for thinking, logical deduction, mathematical reasoning, and creativity. Examples relevant to India, and which incorporate India’s rich local and national traditions of problem-solving and riddles should also be extensively incorporated.National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022
National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022