Ms Wendy Mistruzzi – Elementary School Principal In the first issue of “The Fort”, the Infant Curriculum ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Coordinator, Miss Francesca, International Primary Curriculum wrote to explain about learning through play for the Early Years Program, our Pre-Kindergarten students. The focus of this article will be on how learning through play continues throughout the Elementary school. In the younger grades, such as Kindergarten and Grade 1, the students start learning and exploring numeracy skills, with the main focus on learning number facts. Our aim is that before the students sit down and do work on paper, they are first exposed to hands-on activities and manipulatives so as to make sure that they understand the mathematical skills and concepts presented. These activities consist mainly of learning centres, where the teacher provides differentiated activities to allow students to participate in small groups, where they can collaborate and work according to their ability. Here, I would like to give some examples of hands-on activities, related to number facts, done in our classrooms. 1. Different ways how to make 10 using Numicon shapes – use the 10 Numicon shape as a base and the students have to use two other Numicon shapes that fit on the 10. With the teacher’s support the students will start familiarizing themselves with these different ways, they would realize that there is more than one way to make 10 and some students will be ready to write the equation, e.g. 7+3=10. 2. Number recognition and one-to-one correspondence using counters: counters work magic in younger grades as it makes numbers visible, tangible and students love to include counters in their play too. So a simple but effective learning centre is where the students are provided with different kinds of counters, e.g. teddy bears, dinosaurs, blocks, bottle caps, sticks and number cards. The students match the counters accordingly, for instance, choosing the 6 card and putting 6 dinosaurs next to it. During this time the teacher is also able to see if the students are able to recognize numbers and if they can do one-to-one correspondence (i.e. matching sets, or knowing which group has four and which has five). Sometimes another Math concept develops here, as some students start making patterns with these counters, another important skill in the younger grades.