How can I nurture a sense of wonder, curiosity, and joy for mathematics?

"...children, in learning to mathematize their world, will come to see mathematics as the living discipline it is, with themselves a part of the creative, constructive mathematical community, hard at work." (Fosnot & Dolk, 2001, p.13)

Considerations:

  • demonstrate your own sense of wonder, curiosity, and joy of mathematics
  • provide engaging materials for students to investigate and wonder about mathematics
  • create a learning community where all contributions and questions are valued and mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities
  • be patient and provide access to all learners; learning takes place over time with multiple opportunities

Resources:

The principles and practices of Reggio-Inspired Mathematics draw upon the innate curiosity of children as they investigate their own questions and wonders in an inquiry-based learning environment. Mathematical understanding is developed through the interplay between materials, investigation and digging deeper into concepts and connection-making.

"In Messy Maths: A Playful, Outdoor Approach for Early Years, Juliet Robertson offers a rich resource of ideas that will inspire you to tap into the endless supply of patterns, textures, colours and quantities of the outdoors and deepen children’s understanding of maths through hands-on experience.

Juliet believes being outside makes maths real. In the classroom environment, maths can seem disconnected from everyday reality – but real maths is really messy. Lots of outdoor play and engaging activity along the way is a must, as being outside enables connections to be made between the hands, heart and head, and lays the foundations for more complex work as children grow, develop and learn."

"An inquiry approach gives teachers an opportunity to explore mathematical ideas with children while developing computational skills and conceptual understanding. Inquiry is also a way of honouring students’ thinking and questions. It builds on their cultural knowledge and interests, and develops their identities as doers of mathematics. In this way, inquiry is a form of equity. In addition to seeing mathematics as a sequence of skills, students also begin to recognize it as a tool with which to understand the world."