Teaching early childhood mathematics as the subject of research is undervalued next to literacy.
(Linder et al, 2011).
A body of research supports the realization that mathematical experiences, interactions and investigations in preschool & Kindergarten predict future schooling outcomes. But Edens and Potter (2012) identify a gap in research concerning “ways to provide opportunities to advance children’s early mathematical skills development.”
Bobis et al, 2005 go on to state : If preschool is so influential on future success, teachers need to focus on how to promote authentic mathematical learning in a holistic play based environment
Children need encouragement and opportunities to practice with teachers who understand the mathematics children are doing is VITAL. The teachers’ subject knowledge and confidence have influence on the development of children’s mathematical thinking. Teachers have a huge significance in how we perceive learning outcomes. (Anthony & Walshaw, 2007; Clements & Sarama, 2003). But the most frequent comments I hear from teachers during working sessions are:” I did not know this is what that outcome meant!” “I wish I had been taught math for meaning.” “I had no idea this was so important in learning math.” ” I need to teach this much differently than I have been!”
Constance Kamii has written several articles that I have found quite useful. Take a read and see what you think.
Both offer activities that have opened adult eyes to “see” the assumptions we make about what is easy or hard in math.
Remember what is “first grade” in the Kamii article is based on American curriculum. Expectations in early grades are very different. Her tasks are informative.
Want to make a shift in your attention to numeracy ? Looking for ways to make the mathematics in your “games” and centres authentic? Hoping to make literacy connect to math in more learner friendly ways?
Consider joining me for the first 2 days of Summer Institutes 2018. Pre School, Kindergarten & Grade 1 teachers, we will dig deep into the foundations for mathematical thinking that our students are missing at all grades and how to address them in “play- puzzle- think” ways.