DID YOU KNOW THAT EARLY KNOWLEDGE OF MATH NOT ONLY PREDICTS LATER SUCCESS IN MATH, BUT ALSO PREDICTS LATER READING ACHIEVEMENT EVEN BETTER THAN EARLY READING SKILLS?
This is mathematics in the early years:
Preschool mathematics predicts achievement even into high school. It also predicts later reading achievement EVEN BETTER than early reading skills.
Doing mathematics can increase oral language abilities including vocabulary, inference, independence and grammatical compexity. Mathematics matters to all academic success.
(Clements & Sarama, 2009; Denton & West, 2002; Duncan et al, 2007; Sadler & Tai, 2007)
A key component of early math is high level free play. That does not mean leave them at centres to “play” it means exploring, examining and comparing SPATIAL RELATIONS, learning and applying SPATIAL LANGUAGE and practicing and improving SPATIAL SKILLS. Teachers must engage with students.
Another key component of student success: DO NOT underestimate what students already know and can learn. Teachers must provide challenging mathematical activities and actively and deliberately engage with students as they explore those tasks. TEACH, not OBSERVE. (as opposed to watching free play teachers need to be listening, questioning, responding, inserting vocabulary and concepts into the play).
Teachers must come to understand how mathematical knowledge is connected and interconnected. We need to share models across the grades and link from models to visuals to symbols. Just like the reciting the alphabet is not reading, reciting numbers is not doing math. That’s what I focus on in my workshops and Institutes…..building connections across efficient models to key visuals to equations. Grade to grade, concept to concept, making connections.