Encouraging Playful Mathematical Thinking

Dr Helen Williams
< 1 min read

Welcome to the Playful Mathematics Action Lab, where the world of numbers unfolds in a whimsical dance of exploration and discovery! Join us on a journey guided by an award winning author, Dr. Helen Williams. Helen believes that making connections and grappling with mathematical ideas can be a joyful and playful experience.

Why playful mathematics, you ask? It’s not just about numbers; it’s about cultivating a mindset where mathematical thinking is a natural, enjoyable part of a child’s development. In this action lab, we’ll delve into the importance of play in fostering a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, making connections, and laying the foundation for a lifelong love of numbers.

Helen will demonstrate the magic of playful mathematics through a simple yet engaging game of ‘Zap’. Watch how children can develop essential counting skills while reveling in the joy of the game. It’s not just about numbers on a page; it’s about connecting abstract concepts to real-world scenarios, fostering critical thinking, and building a strong mathematical foundation.

Get ready to infuse your classrooms with the spirit of playful mathematics. The Playful Mathematics Action Lab invites you to reimagine math as an adventure, where connections are made, ideas are explored, and learning becomes a delightful journey. Are you prepared to spark a mathematical curiosity that lasts a lifetime? Let the playful exploration begin!

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Dr Helen Williams
Dr Helen Williams
Dr Helen J Williams is an independent educational consultant specialising in the learning and teaching of primary mathematics. Her particular expertise is with three to eight year-olds and she has a special interest in developing effective, research-based, playful opportunities for learning mathematics. She is a member of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, a long-standing member of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics, an Associate of Early Education, and a founder member of the Early Childhood Mathematics Group. Her book, "Playful Mathematics for Children 3 to 7" was published by SAGE in March 2022 and won the Nursery World Professional Book of the Year Award later that year.
Disclaimer - This resource has been produced independently of and not endorsed by the IB. Toddle’s resources seek to encourage sharing of perspectives and innovative ideas for classroom teaching & learning. They are not intended to be replacements for official IB guides and publications. Views and opinions expressed by the authors of these resources are personal and should not be construed as official guidance by the IB. Please seek assistance from your school’s IB coordinator and/or refer to official IB documents before implementing ideas and strategies shared within these resources in your classroom.