“I found 21!” “Is this 72 or 27?” “Where does this number go?” were some of the questions that a group of children asked one another as they explored a new work in the classroom, the 100 Board. This work focuses on ordering numerals 1-100. Observing the children revealed so much about their learning styles, how they cooperate, and how effective multi-age classrooms can be for young learners. The older 5 year-olds confidently took the reigns and taught the 4 year-olds in the group how to sort the numerals, how to identify them correctly, and how to order them on the board. Some children observed the work, others dove right in touching the material, eager to place numbers in their correct homes. Best of all was the air of joyful cooperation that surrounded this little group of learners: no squabbling over whose turn it may be, no arguing over the best way to complete the work, no excluding other children from watching or joining in. All that was heard was encouragement, inclusion, and cooperative learning! The work continues to be popular in the classroom, encouraging all children to take a try at learning big numbers, how to order them, and (most important) how to work together.
“Children display a universal love of mathematics, which is par excellence the science of precision, order, and intelligence.”