TEACH100-18B (TGA)

Literacy and Mathematics in the Early Years

15 Points

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Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education
Te Hononga Curriculum and Pedagogy


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: helen.findlay@waikato.ac.nz
: janene.harris@waikato.ac.nz
: christine.stewart@waikato.ac.nz

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Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


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: melanie.chivers@waikato.ac.nz
: yilan.chen@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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This paper introduces students to what it means to be a teacher and learner of literacy and mathematics in Aotearoa New Zealand. Students will gain an understanding of how children develop oral and written language and the importance of talk. The paper includes a focus on the understanding, competence and critical thinking required to assist children's language and development in ways that are sensitive to their cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Students will develop an understanding of how children play and think mathematically. There will be a focus on conceptual understanding and building teacher content knowledge in literacy and mathematics.
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Paper Structure

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The paper is taught face to face with some content online for Hamilton and Tauranga students.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Learning outcomes
    1. observe children to explain how students learn language and become literate in oral, written and visual language and how teachers support learners in these processes;
    2. assess, analyse ,and critically reflect on the components of students’ oral and written language in relation to course reading material and current research;
    3. identify the components of phonemic and phonological awareness and how these enable students to encode and decode oral and written language;
    4. apply knowledge of the learner and a range of associated teaching strategies and approaches to plan, teach, and evaluate oral and written language use in ways that are sensitive to their cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
    5. demonstrate understanding of children’s literature and other resources through effective planning and teaching;
    6. use observations and conversations or diagnostic interviews to gain insights to young children’s mathematical thinking;
    7. evaluate young children’s mathematical thinking in relation to research literature;
    8. plan and provide meaningful learning experiences for children based on insights gained from Learning Outcomes 6 and 7 (outlined above);
    9. critically reflect on experiences in early childhood settings or schools that focus on building understanding of what it means to be a teacher of mathematics; and
    10. demonstrate conceptual understanding of relevant content knowledge and beginning pedagogical content knowledge in literacy and mathematics.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Assessment 1: Literacy in the early childhood setting
3 Aug 2018
12:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Assessment 2: Analysing children's mathematical thinking
14 Sep 2018
12:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Assessment 3: Reading a maths related story to a child
12 Oct 2018
12:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Anthony, G., McLachlan, C. & Lim, R. (2015).Narrative Assessment: Making mathematics learning visible in early childhood settings. Mathematics Education. DOI: 10.1007/s13394-015-0142-

Charles, M., & Boyle, B. (2014). Using Multiliteracies and Multimodalities to Support Young Children's Learning. London: SAGE Publications.

Carr, M., Young-Loveridge, J. & Peters, S. (1994). Early childhood mathematics: A framework. In J. Neyland (Ed.), Mathematics education: A handbook for teachers, 1, 262-269. Wellington, New Zealand: Wellington College of Education.

Casey, B., Kersh, J.E. & Young, J.J. (2004). Storytelling sagas: An effective medium for teaching early childhood mathematics. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 19(1), 167-172.

Devereux, J. (2002). Developing thinking skills through scientific and mathematical experiences in the early years. In L. Miller, R. Drury & R. Campbell (
Eds.), Exploring early years education and care (pp. 52-61). London, England: David Fulton.

Education Review Office. (2016). Early mathematics: A guide for improving teaching and learning. Retrieved from http://www.ero.govt.nz/publications/early-mathematics-a-guide-for-improving-teaching-and-learning/

Education Review Office (2017). Extending their language: expanding their world: Children's oral language (birth to 8 Years). Retrieved from http://www.ero.govt.nz/publications/extending-their-language-expanding-their-world/

Fellowes, J. & Oakley, G. (2010). Language, literacy and early childhood education. South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press. (Chapter 1, Understanding oral language, pp. 3- 30).

Hladikova, H. (2014). Children's book illustrations: Visual language of books. De Gruyter Open, 10.2478/cris-2014-0002

Larson, J., Marsh, J., & Marsh, Jackie. (2013). The SAGE handbook of early childhood literacy (Second ed.). London: SAGE. Chapter 1, The emergence of early childhood literacy, pp. 3-17.

McLachlan, C. (2010).What do teachers need to know and do about literacy in the early childhood context: exploring the evidence.He Kupu, 2(3), 4-15.

McLachlan, C., Fleer, M. & Edwards, S. (2018). Early childhood curriculum: Planning, assessment and implementation. 3rd ed. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. (Chapter 9 Content knowledge: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), pp. 156-178).

McLachlan, C., Nicholson, T., Feilding-Barnsley, R., Mercer, L. & Ohi, S. (2012).Literacy in early childhood and primary: Issues, challenges, solutions.Melbourne, Vic.: Cambridge University Press. (Chapter 8, "Sound" foundations for literacy learning, pp. 121-139).

Ministry of Education. (2009). Kei tua o te pae. Assessment for learning: Early childhood exemplars. Book 17, Oral, visual and written literacy. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.

Ministry of Education. (2009). Kei tua o te pae. Assessment for learning: Early childhood exemplars. Book 18, Mathematics, Pangarau. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.

Ministry of Education. (2009). Learning through talk: Oral language in years 1-3. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.

Ministry of Education. (nd.) Much more than words. Retrieved from http://seonline.tki.org.nz/Media/Files/L-Z/Much-More-than-Words

Morrow, L. M. (2012). Literacy development in the early years: Helping children to read and write. 7th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson. (Chapter 9, Managing and organising the literacy program, pp. 373-416).

Perkins, M. (2003). Mathematical babies. The first years: Nga Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 5(2), 11-15.

Peters, S. (2001). Early numeracy. Early Childhood Folio, 5, 10-14.

Peters, S. & Rameka, L. (2010). Te Kakano (The seed). Growing rich mathematics in ECE settings. Early Childhood Folio, 14(2), 10-14.

Saracho, O.N. (2016)Parents’ shared storybook reading – learning to read,Early Child Development and Care,187(3-4),554-567,DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1261514

Snell, E. K., Hindman, A. H., & Wasik, B. A. (2015). How Can Book Reading Close the Word Gap? Five Key Practices From Research. Reading Teacher, 68(7), 560-571. doi:10.1002/trtr.1347

Zeece, P., & Churchill, D. (2001). First Stories: Emergent Literacy in Infants and Toddlers. Early Childhood Education Journal,29(2), 101-104.

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Recommended Readings

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Australasian Journal of Early Childhood (journal available online)

Teaching Children Mathematics (journal available online)

The reading teacher (journal available online)

Ministry of Education. (2010). Effective pedagogy in Mathematics/Pangarau best evidence synthesis. Wellington: Author. Chapter 3 Early years mathematics education, pp. 24-49.

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Online Support

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This paper uses Moodle for online support and for submission of assignments. Course materials may be accessed via Moodle.
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This is a 15 credit paper and therefore involves 150 hours of workload in total.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: TEMS120, TEAL120

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