Friday, July 18, 2014

S.T.E.M.: Focus on Math

Math Connections Neighborhood
Math is all around us.  There are countless opportunities during the day for children to hear new math words and deepen their understanding of math concepts. The more we talk about math and share our enjoyment of the experience with children, the better chance they have to build a positive attitude toward math learning and learning in general. 

Math-talk words are all around us. As you explain daily routines and experiences, you are discussing patterns. Numbers and operations are expressed when keeping score in a game using words like ahead and behind. Comparison words like big and small are beginning measurement talk. Take your pick, songs such as This Old Man or Five Little Pumpkins address numbers and counting.  Spatial relationships are introduced when you verbalize getting from one place to another.

Math-Talk Moments
  • Identify opportunities to use math-talk during your daily routines and experiences.
  • Make a list of math-talk words and phrases. Make a mental note of those words and use a few of the words frequently for a week. As time goes on, new math-talk words can be added. You may even post some on the wall and rotate.
  • Share your strategy with others. Others may have great ideas about math talk too!

Information contained in this blog is borrowed from Spotlight on Young Children: Exploring Math (2012) published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  More, All Gone, Empty, Full: Math Talk with Infants and Toddlers—Every Day, in Every Way by Jan Greenberg.

Greenberg is a senior writer/training specialist with the Early Head Start National Resource Center, in Washington, DC.  Her past work includes product development, training and technical assistance, and teaching infants, toddlers and preschool children in regular and special education programs.