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Dennis wants to count

Denis spots what the teacher is doing and that she might need help. He is keen to help her and wants to count the children's name tags. Another child Elisa is keen to join in.

Good for looking at

  • Mathematical development
  • Children's understanding of the purpose of counting
  • Socialising
  • Co-operation
  • Effective adult support


  • What cues can you see that show what the children are interested in? (Look out for non-verbal and body language as well as spoken language)
  • How are the children learning?
  • Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe?
  • In what ways does the adult support the children’s learning?
  • How do the materials support the children’s learning?


What are your thoughts about:

  • The areas of learning and development that were covered through this spontaneous play experience?
  • The adult’s role – how did she support the children, specifically with mathematical concepts?
  • The importance of the environment and the materials?


What would you do to:

  • Support the children’s understanding of the purpose of counting?
  • Support the children’s interest in counting, numbers and amounts?
  • Encourage the children to work together?

What next:

  • Did watching the clip help you notice any particular strengths or areas for development that you might have when trying to support children with maths during their play? How could you use this?
  • Could you support others with something you are particularly good at? Or find someone to support you with an area you find difficult?
  • Could you suggest a way of encouraging this kind of spontaneous play in your own setting?
  • Do you or members of your team need to develop confidence around supporting children with mathematical concepts?