ABSTRACT

The vignette in this chapter details a lesson with six children aged between three and six years who attend a one-room school in Galicia, Spain. The aim of the lesson is to promote mathematical thinking in early childhood through music. The mathematical vehicle for this investigation was shapes, utilising Bishop’s activity of designing. The first commentary recognises the importance of the links made between mathematics and music and shows how the activities provide examples of all of Bishop’s universal activities. Starting with musical experiences is shown to lead to mathematical notions being explored. Two of Bishop’s activities – measuring and playing – are emphasised in the second commentary as are the many emotional aspects of the whole child’s learning. Writing from a Norwegian context, the third commentator raises the more usual way of children being introduced to geometrical shapes through prototype objects as examples and compares this to the more kinaesthetic approach reported in the vignette where the shapes are formed only in the children’s actions and minds.