Teach your youngsters proper math skills
Will is feeding his 8-month-old daughter Maya. He takes a breather, and Maya signals “more.” Will bursts out laughing. “Do you want more?” “All right, here it comes!” Will says and signs “All gone” when the bowl is empty. Maya finished her meal. “Everything is gone.” Maya grins as she stares at him.
Children learn maths concepts and abilities from an early age. Babies begin to establish concepts about maths from the time they are born, via ordinary experiences and, most importantly, interactions with trustworthy adults. Language—how we communicate with infants and toddlers about numerical concepts like more, empty, and full—is important.
Maths is all around us!
We unconsciously utilise fundamental maths terminology all the time. Sorting and classifying arithmetic ideas are used when we separate garments by colour, for example. When we maintain score during a game and assess how far ahead or behind our team is (number and operations), or when we offer someone instructions to move from one location to another (spatial connections), we are using math. We frequently employ comparison terms (measuring) like large and tiny, as well as patterns to illustrate the sequence of everyday routines and activities (“We brush our teeth after breakfast”). We perform games and sing songs about numbers and counting with our children (such as “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”).
Even when we are not around, babies and toddlers utilise arithmetic principles to make sense of their surroundings. Maya, for example, signals when she wants more food. More is one of the first maths ideas that youngsters grasp. Babies inform us, often dramatically, that they can distinguish between known and unfamiliar people (sorting and categorising). Toddlers attempt to climb into boxes of varying sizes (spatial connections) and repeat words and phrases from known stories or songs (patterns).
Math discourse can help youngsters see the math that occurs in everyday life. Every day presents us with several possibilities to assist youngsters in deepening their comprehension of maths topics.
Fundamental math principles
We may be more careful in our everyday interactions with newborns and toddlers when we are aware of early math principles. Here are five fundamental maths principles that may be included into our daily interactions with newborns and toddlers.
1. Number and operations—understanding the concepts of number, quantity, order, number representation, one-to-one correspondence (that one item corresponds to one number), and counting.
“You and your bear each have two eyes. Let’s see how many there are: -1, 2.”
“I’ve got more crackers than you do.” As you can see, I have 1, 2, 3, and you have 1, 2. I’m going to consume one of mine. Now I have what you have!”
“I think that’s the third time I’ve heard you say mama.” “Mama, you’ve said it three times!”
2. Shapes and spatial relationships (geometry)—recognizing and identifying shapes, comprehending the physical relationship between oneself and other items, and object relationships.
“Look, Jason went under the climber, and Aliyah is on top!”
“You’re sitting next to your younger brother.”
“Some of the crackers we have today are square, and others are round.”
3. Size, weight, amount, volume, and time are all measurements.
“Moving that chair is difficult. It’s rather hefty.”
“Your nap lasted a long time today!””Let’s count how many steps it takes to reach the mailbox.”
4. Patterns, relationships, and change—recognizing (seeing the relationships that comprise a pattern) and/or generating repeats of objects, events, colours, lines, textures, and sounds; comprehending that things change over time and that change may be expressed using math terms. These are the fundamental elements of algebra!
“Daddy has stripes on his shirt—white, blue, white, blue, white, blue, white, blue, white, blue.”
“Let’s clap our hands to the beat of this song.”
“I threw the blocks in the bucket; you empty it.” I refilled the container with blocks; you empty it!”
“Our plant appears to be growing taller today.” “I believe it grew overnight.”
5. Information collecting and organization—gathering, sorting, categorising, and analysing information (data) to help make sense of what is going on in the environment.
“Let’s put the big lid on the big bowl and the small lid on the little bowl.”
“You always have a smile on your face when Mommy sings to you!”
“Let’s put the dolls in a basket and the balls in a box.”
Talk about maths with your youngster on a regular basis. Diapering, dinner and bath times, neighbourhood walks, and shopping excursions, for example, are perfect moments to count, point out shapes and sizes, discuss patterns, and illustrate how objects are similar and different.
Make a collection of maths discussion phrases and terms. Put it on the fridge or someplace else you’ll see it to remind you to take advantage of maths discussion chances.
Math discourse enhances infants’ and toddlers’ everyday learning experiences. You’d be shocked how much they know and can teach you. Your math conversation today can help your children be successful in math later in life.
Developmental trajectory of number acuity reveals a severe impairment in developmental dyscalculia
Is approximate number precision a stable predictor of math ability?
Non-symbolic arithmetic abilities and mathematics achievement in the first year of formal schooling
Individual differences in non-verbal number acuity correlate with maths achievement
Core systems of number