E - L - P - S : Has the title of this section stumped you? Children, similarly, don't understand new symbols that are thrust upon them without giving them an adequate grounding. You need to-offer a child carefully sequenced learning experiences in mathematics to build up understanding. Mathematics, like any other learning, is a continuous process. Children need to move from concrete experiences to visual, symbolic and abstract activities. This sequence is characterised by
(E) experience with physical objects (e.g., stones, sticks, or any easily available objects)
(L) using spoken language to describe the experience (e.g., by using word/story problems, games);
(P) representing this experience through pictures (e.g., represent quantity through pictures);
(S) generalising the experience through written symbols (e.g., numerals).
Let us trace this sequence in the context of a child learning the concept of 'half', assuming that she is familiar with whole numbers.
(E) She divides her sandwich/chapati, or pieces of coloured paper, or other such objects into two halves. Later, she divides, say 6 objects, into two sets.
(L) She starts associating the word 'half' with the quantity. You can devise games to get her acquainted with the names of various fractions.
(P) You can show her various pictures, as in Figure, and ask her to say in which figures the line divides the figure in half,
There can be several variations.
(S) Later, she learns the written symbol for representing 'half