How to Reinforce Early Math Skills

posted 10/14/21 -- Young children begin to develop math concepts and skills very early in the first year of life. Family members play a special role in helping children learn about math through everyday experiences, as they talk, play, or carry out daily routines.

Head Start teachers work to develop math skills as part of the program’s goal to prepare children for kindergarten success. Here are some ways family members can support these math skills through everyday routines.

“How many buttons do you have on your shirt? Let’s count them together as we button them up.” (Number—counting)

“Here’s a sock for this foot. That’s one foot. Here’s a sock for the other foot. That’s two feet!” (Number—counting, using one-to-one correspondence)

“You can put away the square pieces. Your brother will put away the round ones.”(Geometry—recognizing shapes)

“Give the big cup to daddy. I would like to have a little cup.” (Measurement—comparing sizes)

“Look at the patterns in your pajamas. It has a blue stripe, red stripe and yellow stripe. Then it starts again with a blue stripe, red stripe and yellow stripe. That makes a pattern.” (Patterns)

Building the classroom to home connection is so important. LCCAA Head Start encourages family members to use daily activities (bathing, feeding, diaper changing, riding in a car, going grocery shopping) as learning opportunities. These daily events provide opportunities for repetitive learning as well as hands-on experiences in a natural, enjoyable yet structured way.

Key number skills at this age include:

1. Using number concepts and operations

a. Counts

b. Quantifies

c. Connecting numerals with their quantities-One to one correspondence

2. Exploring and describing spatial relationships and shapes

a. Understanding spatial relationships

b. Understanding shapes

3. Comparing and measuring

4. Demonstrating knowledge of patterns