The life of me

Maths mastery in The early years!

What’s the best way to learn addition and subtraction other than with real life objects?!

My class have really enjoyed adding pieces of fruit, comparing and sorting different sized buttons, counting magic beans and even different shaped pasta!l this year.

Counting real life objects is a must in the early years before moving into abstract concrete objects just as cubes.

Children will then be able to problem solve by turning the ‘real life object’ from a problem into cubes to work out their answer.

My Reception class have spent a lot of time this year counting different amounts onto 10 frames and exploring the part whole model. This has significantly increased their understanding of number.

For instance the 10 frames have enabled children to realise double facts and number bonds.

I can simply say:

What can you tell me about this number?

The children will come up with a range of responses such as:

8 and 2 make 10

4 and 4 make 8

1 and 1 make 2

8 is more than 2

2 is less than 8

The part part whole model has also helped children with their number bonds and understanding.

The children can explain different ways of making numbers up to 10 and some children now can automatically say the facts and use them in different problems – they have mastered it!!!

Introducing 10 frames, real life objects and part part whole models can really embed the essentials needed for children to reach great success in maths in year 1 and beyond.

Completing maths mastery means you allow time for the children to practise and you continue to review what is needed despite the curriculum content.

Would you rather continue to embed and practise the skills or just move on with children only gaining little knowledge of it anyway?

I am completing a masters dissertation this year all about the impact it can have on children in the Early Year’s, so keep posted!

The NCETM and maths hub also have a range of great resources that you can use for free too.

The bbc number blocks are also great and I will be separately blogging about that too. Keep an eye out on these little people!


The life of me

The magic of 10 frames!

10 frames are a great resource for children gaining an understanding of number. I have used 10 frames in a range of ways and I plan on using them when I start my new role as a Reception teacher in September.

The pictures used for this blog have been taken from pinterest but I am also going to create my own for future blogs!


10 frames can encourage children’s understanding of numbers. For instance children can complete 10 frames by matching the right amount to a digit.


I have completed this activity with children placing counters on or even finger painting the right amount on. Children could place stickers or glue something onto the 10 frames too.


10 frames can help children build up their number sense and identify number bonds.



Children could roll a dice and place the amount on a 10 frame. For instance after rolling 5, 5 counters are placed on the 10 frame children could find the missing amount using a different colour counter to reach 10.

5 and 5 make 10.

4 and 6 make 10 and so on!


10 frames are great for introducing addition.

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I also love using egg boxes as 10 frames and natural objects such as conkers to count with in autumn.

Give 10 frames a try at home or at school!

What are your thoughts?