Developing a solid math foundation – PreK through Grade 2
A child’s math foundation and attitude is developed early and lasts lifelong.
Developing a solid mathematical foundation from prekindergarten through second grade is essential for a child’s academic success. In these grades, students are building beliefs about what mathematics is, about what it means to know and do mathematics, and about themselves as mathematics learners. These beliefs influence their thinking and attitudes toward mathematics in later years. Additionally, these early attitudes are reflected in ongoing decisions on whether to maintain or prioritize their ongoing math studies.
Time4Learning teaches a broad and solid math curriculum. Time4Learning’s math curriculum cover more than just arithmetic, math facts, and operations. Their interactive math program teaches these five math strands.* .
* Number Sense and Operations – Knowing how to represent numbers, recognizing ‘how many’ are in a group, and using numbers to compare and represent paves the way for grasping number theory, place value and the meaning of operations and how they relate to one another.
* Algebra – The ability to sort and order objects or numbers and recognizing and building on simple patterns are examples of ways children begin to experience algebra. This elementary math concept sets the groundwork for working with algebraic variables as a child’s math experience grows.
* Geometry and Spatial Sense – Children build on their knowledge of basic shapes to identify more complex 2-D and 3-D shapes by drawing and sorting. They then learn to reason spatially, read maps, visualize objects in space, and use geometric modeling to solve problems. Eventually children will be able to use coordinate geometry to specify locations, give directions and describe spatial relationships.
* Measurement – Learning how to measure and compare involves concepts of length, weight, temperature, capacity and money. Telling the time and using money links to an understanding of the number system and represents an important life skill.
* Data Analysis and Probability – As children collect information about the world around them, they will find it useful to display and represent their knowledge. Using charts, tables, graphs will help them learn to share and organize data. For more information: preschool math , kindergarten math, 1st grade math , 2nd grade math, and 3rd grade math
Children develop many mathematical concepts, at least in their intuitive beginnings, even before they reach school age. Infants spontaneously recognize and discriminate among small numbers of objects, and many preschool children possess a substantial body of informal mathematical knowledge. Adults can foster children’s mathematical development from the youngest ages by providing environments rich in language and where thinking is encouraged, uniqueness is valued, and exploration is supported.
Children are likely to enter formal school settings with different levels of mathematics understanding, reflecting their opportunity to have learned mathematics. Some children will need additional support so that they do not start school at a disadvantage. Early assessments should be used not to sort children but to gain information for teaching and for potential early interventions.
The core math standards and concepts that form a young child’s foundation are number, operations, and geometry
All students deserve high-quality programs that include significant mathematics presented in a manner that respects both the mathematics and the nature of young children. These programs must build on and extend students’ intuitive and informal mathematical knowledge. They must be grounded in a knowledge of child development and provide environments that encourage students to be active learners and accept new challenges. They need to develop a strong conceptual framework while encouraging and developing students’ skills and their natural inclination to solve problems.
At the core of mathematics programs in prekindergarten through grade 2 are the Number and Operations and Geometry Standards. For example, it is absolutely essential that students develop a solid understanding of the base-ten numeration system in prekindergarten through grade 2. They must recognize that the word ten may represent a single entity (1 ten) or ten separate units (10 ones) and that these representations are interchangeable. Using concrete materials and calculators in appropriate ways can help students learn these concepts.
Understandings of patterns, measurement, and data contribute to the understanding of number and geometry and are learned in conjunction with them. Similarly, the Process Standards of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Proof, Communication, Connections, and Representation both support and augment the Content Standards. Even at this age, guided work with calculators can enable students to explore number and patterns, focus on problem-solving processes, and investigate realistic applications.
Adapted from: Principles & Standards for School Mathematics. Copyright © 2000-2004 by
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Inc.
1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-9988. Intro. Chapter 4.
Online: ://standards.nctm.org/document/chapter4/index.htm Copyright 2004 Time4Learning.net, All rights reserved