Tip 124: January 2019 – Early Mathematical Discovery
Website Educational Tips for Social/Emotional Development
Children learn mathematical concepts through concrete experiences with a
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics recognizes and encourages
1. Relevance: Mathematical activities must focus on young children’s
2. Interaction/Collaboration: Young children are fundamentally concrete thinkers, and they require personal and interpersonal experiences to learn effectively.
3. Problem-Based Learning: This provides challenging and motivating experiences, which lead to higher order thinking skills by posing realistic and interesting open-ended problems.
4. Integrated Instruction: This last component includes the blending of two or more of the curriculum areas to help young children understand that learning in one area effects learning in many of the other areas.
Infants: Recognition of Quantity – One To One Correspondence: The most fundamental component of the concept of number is the recognition of quantity. Children must understand it before counting. This is especially important for infants. This starts with babies when they start to understand that socks and shoes go together. Adults should start by pointing out that one sock goes on one foot which goes into one shoe. Then one hat goes on one head, and one mitten goes on each hand.
Toddlers: Categorizing – Take two shoeboxes and tape them together side by side for a category sorting game. More hands-on activities are easier for toddlers to understand. Give toddlers an assortment of objects to divide into two categories. For example start with: which things are soft (feather) or hard (stone), red or blue, big or little.
Preschoolers: Spatial Relationships – Position, direction and distance are spatial relationship ideas. The use of space includes organization, patterns and construction. Children need to understand the relationships between their bodies and other things around them. Preschoolers need to physically experience these relationships. Create obstacle courses that use directions which include the following:
on/off under/over behind/between near/away from
far/near up/down inside/outside high/low
in/out through/across beside/behind top/bottom
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A MATHETICIAN TO HAVE A FEEL FOR NUMBERS.
(John Forbes Nash, Jr)
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