Literacy and numeracy at Glebe Cooperative Nursery School

By Julie LeBlanc

Literacy and numeracy learning starts at a very early age. At Glebe Cooperative Nursery School, the teachers are continuously encouraging and fostering the children’s development of language and math skills. Their aim is to bring literacy and numeracy learning into the children’s play every day at school.

Toddlers started the year singing a “hello song” in the morning to help them become familiar with the names of other children in the class and to help self-identify with their own name. Name cards have since been added to help the children understand the concept of seeing their name in print, and letters have been introduced this past month.

Preschoolers have become very interested in letters and the alphabet. They are exploring puzzles, spelling out their names, recognizing letters, practising letter sounds, giving examples of words that begin with a particular letter and occasionally beginning to spell out words.

The teachers have set up a letter and writing table to get children started on their pre-writing skills. Activities have included making letters with their bodies, drawing letters in trays of salt, hiding letters to find, tracing letters with tracing paper, using beads to follow the shape of a drawn letter and drawing on white boards.

The children have been making wonderful connections with language and letters. In keeping with GCNS’s philosophy of following the children’s lead and supporting their learning, teachers have added more language-focused activities into the classroom in different learning areas – that’s been met with great enthusiasm by the children.

Numeracy is a big part of learning at Glebe Cooperative Nursery School. Children start their school day outside on the playground where they will often be guided to count things around them – how many dogs walk by, how many school buses are parked across the street, how many of their classmates are present. Once settled in the classroom, counting songs are always fun, and children can use their fingers to follow along with songs like “Ten in a Bed” or “Five Little Monkeys”. The children have also been enjoying a variety of cooperative games, which teaches them turn-taking, sequencing, counting and numbers. Some of these have included “Duck, Duck, Goose” and “What time is it Mr./Mrs. Wolf?

Children have started to work on seriation and patterning. Activities have included putting items in order from smallest to largest, making patterns with blocks and using rhythm sticks to follow a sequence. Patterning helps children to build important foundations for numeracy skills development and reasoning. Parents can help children find examples of patterns in everyday life with events, numbers, images, shapes, colours, songs and music.

Here are a few books recommended by GCNS teachers to help young children learn about patterns:

Ten Little Rabbits

by Virginia Grossman

Max Found Two Sticks

by Brian Pinkney

Close, Closer, Closest

by Shelly Rotner

Nature’s Paintbrush: The Patterns

and Colors Around You

by Susan Stockdale


Glebe Cooperative Nursery School is a non-profit licensed childcare centre offering both a Toddler Program (ages 1.5-2.5 years) and a Preschool Program (2.5-4.5 years). GCNS accepts new registrations throughout the school year. Visit for more information.


Julie LeBlanc is responsible for communications for the Glebe Cooperative Nursery School.

Share this