**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