Whilst Finny was working on a prototype for Cian’s ladybird craft, he suddenly ran off and came back with some of our wooden loose parts and a plastic container from our junk modelling stash.



We’ve previously looked at finding doubles and the two times table, so Finny is familiar with the concept. He was excited to show me how to double the spots on one ladybird wing, to give it the same number on the other wing too.

Meanwhile, Ioan was working on the anatomy of a ladybird and was keen to point out that the spots are not technically on the wing of the ladybird, but on the wing case, which is called the elytra.

Finny showed me it works backwards too, starting with. “Two tens are twenty, two nines are 18..”

He counted backwards up to “two fives are 10”, then decided he needed to pause and demonstrate to me with the log slices. He explained I could write it as a sum as 5 x 2 = 10.

With the explanation complete, he got ready to carry on counting down from four twos. He noticed that as the spots on the ladybird got smaller, the spots in the plastic container got bigger.

Next, Finny spotted that the number being multiplied by two on the ladybird wing, made a number bond to ten, with the number being multiplied by two in the container.

For example, four twos on the wing and six twos in the container, 4 + 6 = 10.

I love child led learning, where the child is free to play and explore numbers, making their own connections and conclusions.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add two single-digit numbers and count on to find the answer.

ELG12 – Shape, space and measures:

Children use everyday language to talk about size and position to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 1 programme of study

Number – addition and subtraction

  • read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+), subtraction (–) and equals (=) signs
  • add and subtract one-digit and two-digit numbers to 20, including zero

Number – multiplication and division

  • solve one-step problems involving multiplication and division, by calculating the answer using concrete objects, pictorial representations and arrays with the support of the teacher.

Numeracy Year 2 programme of study

Number – multiplication and division

  • recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2 times table