CAMathories® Woodland Series
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Suitable for: 3-5 year olds
Extensive research has shown that young children learn about mathematics best when they solve problems that attract their interest. Using well-loved tales, with familiar characters and settings as a starting point, helps to give children confidence and ensures that they feel comfortable as they learn.
When these stories, and the games and puzzles embedded within them, are shared by children and their parents (or other caregivers), they will encourage children to talk about their ideas in mathematics. Such discussions are vitally important in enabling young children to acquire a firm grasp of basic mathematical processes.
Our CAMathories® are based on these principles, derived from sound research.
This first series of Woodland CAMathories® contains three well-loved stories that are all situated in the woods, a favorite location for traditional fairy tales. The stories are written in a way that is appropriate for 3-5 year old's, and pose a number of different challenges in a range of mathematical areas, which include:
This first one of CAMathories® series, designed for 3-5 year old children, tells the tale of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears. What will Goldilocks find when she goes into this cottage that she hasn’t seen before? What will Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear and Baby Bear find when they return from their early morning walk?
This telling of this well-loved fairy tale involves young children in helping Goldilocks to enter 3 Bears Cottage, to eat some of their delicious breakfast, and to choose a nice comfy bed to have a lie down on afterwards. But if only she had read the sign over the door, she might have thought twice about entering a cottage when she didn’t know who lived there!
The math games and puzzles involved in this little adventure involve the children in:
• knocking on the cottage door the right number of times to open it
• naming the shapes of the toast, counting their corners (including the idea of zero)
and many more....
General notes on the CAMathories® website provide guidance for how to play the games with your children so that they have fun and learn some valuable math skills. Each game in the story is also accompanied by abundant parents' notes. The icon of Notes for each game is at the top right-hand corner of the screen. Click on it and the notes will pop up on the screen.
THE ROLE OF PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS
If they are run straight through, these CAMathories® last between 5 and 10 minutes.
However, they all contain a number of games and puzzles, which are posed by Professor Cantab, and the time it takes children to solve these will vary. The stories, games and puzzles are written to be appropriately challenging for 3-5 year olds.
So, to begin with, it is important that as parents and caregivers you watch and listen to the stories and play the games together with your child. Enjoy chatting together about the games and encourage your child to talk about their ideas. You may need to help with actions such as dragging objects around the screen or selecting objects using a mouse, finger pad or touch screen.
If your child needs support, it can be helpful for you to show them how to play a game or solve a puzzle, carefully describing what you are doing. Once you have played a story with your child a few times, when you think they are ready, encourage them have a go on their own.
Young children often need a number of experiences to fully grasp a new idea, and this takes time. So it is helpful to follow up the mathematical ideas of particular games and puzzles using practical everyday examples which will build confidence and understanding.
Parent notes attached to each game give some advice about this.
However, the golden rule in all your discussions and extensions is to be playful and follow your child’s interests. The most important thing of all is that your child enjoys and has fun with our CAMathories®. If the story is proving to be a valuable experience for your child, they will want to play the same story over and over again. This will all help to build familiarity and confidence in learning and playing with mathematics.
Written by Dr. David Whitebread