Young children who understand the Big Idea that attributes can be used to sort collections into sets have a working knowledge of what a set is and how it is constructed. Experiences with attributes are central to developing this as they give a solid understanding of how we define collections of things.
© Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative. Reprinted from Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know (2014), Pearson Education.
A child makes different groups out of a collection of keys.
A child creates groups out of a collection of rocks.
Do the children in your classroom know each other’s names? At winter break, are they still pointing to “that girl.” Doing activities in the early weeks of school that use the children’s own names will do wonders for building your classroom community. At the same time, you can be doing math—as well as literacy!
Lyn English defines analogical reasoning and describes its importance and prevalence in early math classrooms.
A child explains how he organizes a group of bears.
Sorting things into categories is one of the ways mathematics enters into our daily life. At “clean-up time,” children discover that forks and knives belong in one place, plates belong somewhere else, and glasses and cups belong in yet another place.
Cindy Collado and her preschool class at Stock School were involved in a shoe project that incorporated many math concepts through a variety of activities over the course of two months. The class started by taking a good look at their shoes and then talking and thinking about what they saw.
A kindergarten student organizes a collection of rocks into unique sets. Simple questions can result in explorations in core math concepts such as grouping. In this case, some very unusual groups are created.