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I often bombard children with additional and unnecessary questions after only a short pause. By investing sufficient time to listen and waiting for a response educators can make children feel that their thoughts and opinions are valued (MacNaughton & Williams, 2008, p. 117). This is important because mediated learning is built upon reciprocity (Ben-Hur, 1998, p. 663), collaboration and shared contexts (Macmillan, 2009, p. 29) which provide teachers and students with an equal opportunity to contribute to and control the experience (Macmillan, 2001, p. 32). If children do not feel validated, respected and “worthy of being listened to” (Fraser, 2007, p. 18) it is unlikely they will generate the intrinsic motivation necessary for the collaborative shared participation of reciprocal interactions which are crucial to mediated learning. In the following conversation, my failure to engage in a reciprocal interaction is evident when I cut the child short by asking questions in rapid succession and supplying my own array of

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Increasing my understanding of Bishop’s mathematical categories, especially measuring, will enhance my ability to recognise and extend upon naturally occurring teachable moments. This is particularly important as an early childhood educator because children’s initial understandings and concepts of mathematics are often learned unconsciously through informal social contexts and shared experiences. To be an effective teacher of mathematics it is essential I am able to make the most of spontaneous, integrated opportunities to mediate learning; this requires a sophisticated knowledge of mathematics. Furthermore, to optimally facilitate learning, I need to continue to reflect on my use of responsive and restrictive teaching behaviours. This involves monitoring the way I enact communication roles when interacting with children. My goal as an early childhood mathematics teacher is to support children in making sense of their world and assist them in understanding the mathematical relationships that exist around us, thus enabling them to draw connections between their everyday experiences and mathematical concepts. I will do this by providing scaffolds and mediated learning experiences that encourage children to construct their own learning in authentic, often