When children focus on what happens when we join two sets together or separate a set into parts, they learn about how quantities change. When they have lots of experience comparing amounts, they become familiar with thinking about differences between sets. And when they have opportunities to see how a single large set can be composed of two or more smaller sets, they get comfortable with the fact that larger numbers contain smaller numbers. These ways of mentally modeling real situations are what we mean by number operations. Number and operations are key to many thought processes that occur in children's minds.
© 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 quantity (whole) can be decomposed into equal or unequal parts; the parts can be composed to form the whole.
● Sets can be compared using the attribute of numerosity, and ordered by more than, less than, and equal to.
● Sets can be changed by adding items (joining) or by taking some away (separating).
December 29, 2020
Whether teaching in-person with social distancing or online, the number one question we hear from teachers is how to adapt preschool math games for remote learning. Here are some game ideas that work equally well in person or online.
En Español También. Card games provide meaningful practice of the basic number combinations. These common card games that children learn in school or at home can be revisited many times and can be adapted to children’s own math skills as they develop over time.
In this lesson launch, we see a third-grade teacher using reading comprehension strategies to help children understand a math story problem using a Three Reads strategy.
The math story this second grader solves is a change unknown story. There was a full carton of a dozen eggs but some were eaten, leaving only 3 eggs. After making sense of the problem, the child uses a counting up strategy to figure it out.
A second-grade student solves a variety of addition and subtraction math stories. Using his fingers as math tools, he is able to solve the stories, even as what is known or unknown shifts.
A second-grader works on basic number combinations as we see him playing a comparison card game, Capture It. He is accurate when comparing sums but is still developing his efficiency and flexibility, key indications of fluency.
Examining sets of unit blocks challenges educators to think about relationships of the blocks. A deeper understanding of the features of unit blocks empowers teachers to support children in ways that promote joyful math learning.
This second grader uses a known number combination (3 + 9) to solve a subtraction problem, showing an understanding of how addition and subtraction are related as inverse operations.
How is it possible to have too many tamales? Well, Maria finds out in the holiday storybook Too Many Tamales by author Gary Soto.
Long before young children are writing equations with the equal sign, they are exploring how amounts that look different can actually be equivalent.