Analyse The Use Of Manipulatives Within An Eyfs Context,

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Analyse the use of manipulatives within an EYFS context, (and in particular a mastery lesson) and identify and critically analyse a resource that has been observed or used during school experience.
This assignment will analyse the use of manipulatives within and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) context (particularly in a mastery lesson) as well as critically analyse a resource (manipulative) that I have observed being used first hand within an EYFS setting.
Manipulatives in mathematics are practical apparatus that enable us to pick them up and manipulate them, such as; counters, multi-link cubes, digit cards, Cuisenaire rods, base ten, bead strings, place value counters and Dienes apparatus. They contain different aspects of mathematics
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As a child masters a skill, it is important that the decision is left to them as to when they are ready to move on from manipulatives onto pictoral representations and finally to abstract representations. When using manipulatives, children are more enthusiastic and motivated to learn, they gain deeper understanding through the use of manipulatives and they can be effectively used to support and scaffold English Additional Language (EAL) learners to demonstrate their understanding in situations where they can not verbalise this.
Psychologist Jean Piaget (1936) believed that children are ‘active learners’ and that they are able to grasp concepts by advancing through four stages of cognitive development, these are; the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage and the formal operational stage. These four stages of cognitive development are very similar to constructivist Jerome Bruner’s (1960) three modes of representation (as his ideas stem from those of Piaget). Bruner’s three modes of representation are; enactive (action based) - this involves encrypting action based information and storing it mentally in our memory, iconic (image based) – in this mode of representation, information is stored visually, symbolic (language based) – in this mode, information is able to be stored in code and symbols. Once you reach this mode of representation, actions as well as images stored in our memory
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