First things first...I have seen a lot of information out there again about maths anxiety. Number Agents was born out of my interest in play and drama and further refined after maths PLD, but it was also born out of need to give children a positive mindset to mathematics. It has certainly proven to be an effective approach in terms if that. For those that are not sure what math anxiety is, this short video is a good one to watch.
So what are the agents up to at the moment and what am I noticing?
Our last few weeks have focused on subitizing and the use of doubles and halves to help us. We have also been learning to count on from the biggest number.
This subitizing song is great.
Subitizing is something we work on in lots of different ways and it is so valuable. We have been using dominoes, cards, other random patterns, tens frames, tally marks and fingers.
The professor has then led us in using these patterns to add groups together. They love the Professor and listen to him so closely it is lovely.
We spend a lot of time working in groups and learning from each other. Over the last few weeks we have faced Captain Fraction, Subtraction Shark and The Knight Adder.
Children are getting good at using materials and it is also great to see some developing an awareness of counting on from the biggest number.
Using dominoes to make up number stories.
Popsicle sticks are a popular tool.
Using drawing as a strategy
Group problem solving time...
What Have I Noticed?
Although we spend very little time on the knowledge of how to read and write numbers, agents are displaying some excellent progress with many able to read numbers to 100 and most able to write numbers to 20 with accuracy. They are also accurate at one to one counting and I think this is helped along by the fact that we use "I can count to 100" as our way into agency each day.
Talk moves are improving.
I am really glad we added Cowgirl Calculation, she is excellent at re-voicing. Agents are now able to state if they agree, explain how they solved the problem and state their answer. Their oral language is brilliant and this is largely due to the play-based environment they are allowed to operate in throughout significant parts of their day....they are always talking!
Our play-based environment feeds beautifully into agency and vice versa. Agents often spend time upskilling during self-directed sessions.
These agents spent a significant amount of time practicing their numbers together, because their learning goal is to get better at numbers (their words.)
I am very happy with where we are up to...the agency now has 29 children and this will soon be in the mid thirties. And just for your viewing pleasure....our Number Agent chant....a little loud, but that is typical of new entrants when you ask them to speak up :)
I hope all the other agencies are having as much fun as we are!