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Developing a sense of 'muchness'

Published 10 months ago by Ann Baker

Quantity is a funny thing. Look at the packet below. Can you believe that there are really 170 items in such a small packet?


Magnitude and understanding of quantity is experiential. We get better at it with experience!

We tend not give our students enough time and experience to find out about the real meanings of numbers. A simple task like opening this packet and working out if there are in fact 170 bits in it is a great learning experience!

'Muchness' or an understanding of quantity, is important in the early years as a precursor to early place value. The ability to estimate the magnitude or how 'muchness' of a large number, being able to look at a group of objects and to make a reasonable estimate of the quantity are important skills.

I don't know about you but I can hardly wait to tear open the packet, spill the stuff out and check I got the right amount. Okay I need a life...!

Ideas of how muchness and many more early years concepts are a focus of the new early years number sense online course. Check it out here.

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