The heavy emphasis placed upon math within the primary and secondary school systems is ever increasing. In this, it is important for toddlers to understand and grasp early math concepts, such as number recognition or counting, early so that they can keep up in primary school. Within a child’s toddler years, they may begin learning these basic concepts both at home, as well as in preschool, so it’s important that both preschool teachers and parents understand how to relay these concepts clearly and concisely. Young children best grasp onto new concepts through encouragement, as well as with hands-on games, projects, and activities, to help them better engage with and explore the concepts themselves.
Learning Through Encouragement
The emotions of young children are heavily dependant upon what they feel from those around them. To encourage better learning environments for children, it is necessary to create a calm, cheerful, and encouraging learning environment within homes and classrooms. This is explored by Sandra Peterson, a 40-year veteran in childhood education, in her article “School readiness for infants and toddlers? Really? Yes, Really!” (Peterson, 2012). Within her article, Peterson discusses how children are born with innate senses of curiosity, and how adults should attempt to encourage this curiosity, rather than contain it. Peterson suggests using encouraging words and phrases, rather than just saying “no”, to redirect children’s curiosity instead of halting it. These concepts are further explored by Ginsburg, Lee, and Boyd, who suggest creating learning environments with lots to safely explore, such as toys, furniture, and hand-held objects that children can handle themselves easily (Ginsburg, Lee, & Boyd, 2008). Further, they discuss the usefulness of talking actions through with toddlers, to help them remember facts and pay attention to details (Ginsburg, Lee, & Boyd, 2008). These topics are important for teaching core math skills to toddlers, as they suggest simple and day-to-day ways to encourage learning, without forcing the concepts upon them. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Learning Through Activities
Children typically learn best through engagement and hands-on activities. These settings do not feel strictly like learning, so they are easier to get children to engross themselves in. The Canadian Child Care Federation’s factsheet on “Ages & Stages of Numeracy Development” states that when children are toddlers, they are able to tell the difference between amounts of objects, can learn to recite numbers, can do basic calculations on objects, and can begin to recognize what numbers look like (Canadian Child Care Federation, 2009). This means that children can begin to play games and activities to better grasp these numbers. Several games and activities are listed out by the Norwood Education District for learning numbers such as through matching and comparing, ordering, sequencing, sorting, measuring, and free play (Norwood Education, 2004). This “number sense” is explored by Sharon Griffin, and outlines how children move through stages of learning, and which games are best at each (Griffin, 2004). These methods help to encourage hands-on learning with children, preventing them from becoming bored or frustrated.
Teaching Through Prediction
If teachers and parents of young children can predict what areas of math they might find confusing, or what areas may not be understood, then they can better develop curriculums to focus on these areas. This is discussed by Levenson and Tabach from Tel Aviv University in their article “Developing preschool teachers’ knowledge of students’ number conceptions” (Levenson & Tabach, 2014). To do this, it is useful to create activities to both teach, as well as assess children’s understanding of simple concepts. In this way, teachers and parents can ensure that core concepts in a child’s education are not missed. For instance, if a child learns to count from 1 to 10 by rote memory, they may be unable to start counting from a different number, because they no longer understand the sequence (Levenson & Tabach, 2014). This would indicate extra counting activities might be needed for the child so they can better understand the meaning behind the numbers. These simple facts and activities are essential to keep in mind while teaching young children, as they can help aid understanding and prevent gaps from filling as the children grow and move into primary school.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here
Through creating encouraging learning environments, having fun with learning activities, and understanding how children learn and where they might get stuck, we can better teach core math concepts at earlier ages. This can help children in their entry to primary school, and give them a good foundation for math throughout their lives.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Canadian Child Care Federation. (2009). Ages & Stages of Numeracy Development. Retrieved from Canadian Child Care Federation
Ginsburg, H. P., Lee, J. S., & Boyd, J. S. (2008). Mathematics Education for Young Children: What It Is and How to Promote It. Social Policy Report. Volume 22, Number 1. Retrieved from ERIC:
Griffin, S. (2004, January 12). Building number sense with Number Worlds: a mathematics program for young children.
Levenson, E., & Tabach, M. (2014, February). Developing preschool teachers knowledge of students’ number conceptions. Retrieved from Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education:
Norwood Education. (2004). Children’s Development of Mathematical Concepts: Ages 0-4.
Peterson, S. (2012, September). School Readiness for Infants and Toddlers? Really? Yes,Really!