Australia’s national education evidence body

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This resource outlines some strategies to embed early numeracy in your early childhood education and care setting.

Engage in sustained shared conversations with children

One way to develop early numeracy in children is to engage in ‘sustained shared conversations’. The Early Years Learning Framework states that sustained shared conversations are an important strategy for educators and teachers to employ. By asking children questions, educators can prompt children to explore their ideas in more depth. Educators can extend children’s thinking by working together to solve a problem, clarify an issue, evaluate learning experiences or extend a narrative. Opportunities for engaging in sustained shared conversations can occur throughout the day during routines, transitions, planned and spontaneous experiences.

Strategies for engaging in sustained shared conversations with children aged 3-5 years are outlined in the following table. For examples of sustained shared conversations that develop children’s literacy and executive function and self-regulation skills, see literacy and executive function and self-regulation resources.

Strategies for sustained shared conversations

Embed numeracy learning throughout the day

Here are some examples of when you might build early numeracy skills into different learning experiences and interactions throughout the day with children aged 3-5. These examples show how you may start a conversation and illustrate a pause where the child can engage and steer the conversation with their response. You can use these examples as inspiration for conversation starters with your children.

Moments in the day

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