Young children are naturally curious and develop a variety of mathematical ideas before they enter Kindergarten. Children make sense of their environment through observations and interactions at home, in daycares, in preschools and in the community. Mathematics learning is embedded in everyday activities, such as playing, reading, beading, baking, storytelling and helping around the home. Activities can contribute to the development of number and spatial sense in children. Curiosity about mathematics is fostered when children are engaged in, and talking about, such activities as comparing quantities, searching for patterns, sorting objects,
ordering objects, creating designs and building with blocks. Positive early experiences in mathematics are as critical to child development as are early literacy experiences.
Alberta. Alberta Education. Alberta Program of Studies for Mathematics K-9. Edmonton: Alberta Education, 2007, Updated 2016. Print.
The main goals of mathematics education are to prepare students to:
- use mathematics to interpret our world
- use mathematics to confidently to solve problems
- use qualitative information (information that can be measured and expressed as an amount) to solve problems
- use spatial information (information referring to the physical relationship between objects or people) to solve problems
- communicate and reason mathematically
- appreciate and value mathematics
- commit themselves to lifelong learning
- become mathematically literate adults, using mathematics to contribute to society
In Early Learning, we work towards meeting the important goals of mathematics education through allowing children to explore mathematical ideas in play and daily activities in the classroom. To ensure that children experience rich mathematics experiences, mathematics outcomes are connected to a variety of other subject areas. As such, children will have sustained periods of time where they participate in play that supports the development of mathematical concepts of spatial relationships, patterns, data analysis, logical reasoning, number, and operations – all supporting the development of numeracy
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP?
Let your child know that all students can be successful in mathematics. Take advantage of situations where math is used in real life:
- Allow your child opportunities to sort at home – sorting cutlery or socks allows children the opportunity to focus on attributes
- Allow your child to sequence their day. What will happen first? Second?
- Ask your child what patterns they notice in the home
- Talk to your child about money. Allow them to touch and use money.
Ask your children to explain their thinking in mathematical situations.
- Ask your child how they know for sure
- Ask your child for different ways to solve the same problem
- Ask your child to show their thinking
Discuss with your child how you use mathematics in daily life. Talk to your child about how mathematics is used in the world, in different careers and around the home.