Did you know that research has shown that developing early math skills can be a predictor of later learning? It may even be a greater predictor than basic reading skills1. Teachers were introduced to this information to help them focus on mathematizing everyday activities and to focus on more challenging and less basic math skill development. In order to support student learning beyond basic skills, the Learning Pathways to Numeracy document can be used to assist teachers in knowing what to do to help a child in their next steps along the mathematical progression.
Here are some highlights of the learning:
- Realizing some areas that pose stumbling blocks in learning like language. In English, we use words that don’t make sense or lack connection like, eleven versus twenty-one where the term connects to the number value.
- Enhancing learning with complexity using questioning techniques. Asking questions like:
- How do you know?
- Can you show me another way?
- Who has the same number as you?
- How many do you and your neighbor have together?
- Math talk is very important. Learning to replace statements like:
- put on your shoes, parents and teachers would say put on your two shoes and replace general terms like few, some, or lots by saying things like put the four dishes on the table. This helps build conceptual knowledge of numbers that go beyond memorization of numbers and basic counting.
- Mathematize reading. Move beyond counting books and mathematize stories. After reading a story for enjoyment, such as Five Creatures by Emily Jenkins, teachers can incorporate activities. Children can draw the number of creatures in their house, stack cubes for each number and share which is most or least and how they know. This creates a more complex learning task.
- Making dot plates to develop the capacity to subitize (determining the number of objects without counting) which leads to composing and decomposing skills.
- Using whole-body activities like forming lines based on teachers’ questions to develop skills around more, less, or the same.
- Using dot cards to explore more, less, the same and extending their use by composing and decomposing numbers, building operation and algebraic thinking.
- Playing games – Shake & Spill, Five Octopi, Concentration, Cross Out, and more.
- Using 5-frames and 10-frames to make multiple representations of numerical values (5 and 2 more is 7, 3 and 4 more is 7…)
Help kids be school ready and prepare them for future academic success. Mathematize your world!