When we think of early math, many of us think of teaching children how to count numbers. But early math is much more than that! It is understanding Spatial relationships, which include shape, size, space, position, direction, movement and patterns. This will later be used in geometry. Early math is learning shapes and their relationships to one another, e.g., two triangles make a square.
Another early math concept is Measurement; finding the length, height and weight of an object using units like inches, feet or pounds and the measurement of time in minutes first. Later children learn to tell time by learning hours from the hands of a clock.
Estimation is another early math skill, which is very difficult for young children to understand. But we can help them by showing them the meaning of words like more, less, bigger, smaller, more than, less than.
Patterns are things—numbers, shapes, images—that repeat in a logical way. Patterns help children learn to make predictions, to understand what comes next, to make logical connections, and to use reasoning skills. Later, these skills become important as children begin to solve problems in math.
Learning numbers are not the only things children need to learn. There are “others” that teach math concepts such as Blocks. Through block play, children strengthen their abilities to understand spatial relationships, measurements, comparison of shapes, numbers, estimations, symmetry, and balance. All this is being processed while a child works with blocks!
The only way to learn mathematics is to experience it!
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