Children between the ages of 3 and 6 are more than ready to develop their skills at expressing directions from different locations and understanding relative positions. They are fundamentally interested in modeling their world, whether in the block corner or the housekeeping area, and spatial relationships are a large part of what they grapple with there. The more such experiences they have, particularly in the company of adults who help to mathematize them, the easier it will be to make their own representations of space mathematically precise when they get to geometry class. © Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative. Reprinted from Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know (2014), Pearson Education.
December 12, 2018
This child successfully attempts to match geo-solids using triangular prism-shaped blocks. Focus on the Child videos are taken from one-on-one interviews with individual children. The interviews are designed to elicit evidence of children’s mathematical thinking. They are not teaching episodes or formal assessments.
Many classrooms are planning year-end picnics, so it’s the perfect time to read We’re Going on a Picnic! by the beloved author Pat Hutchins.
Instructor Lisa Ginet explains how to make tangram puzzles, an ancient Chinese game made from seven shapes cut from a square. Over 6500 different arrangements can be made from these seven simple shapes!
Spatial relationships is often overlooked in early education classrooms. One program demonstrates how impactful it can be.
A great way for kids to explore spatial relationships is to read books that call for them to think about where objects are in relation to something else.
For kids books, geometry doesn't have to just be reciting the shapes. Here are books that can begin rich geometrical discussions.
Children, even at a very young age, have an incredible understanding of spatial relationships. Jan de Lange brings up the idea that elementary school classrooms might consider starting their math curriculum with spatial reasoning. Ideas such as numbers and counting could be added later to quantify this concept that children naturally understand so well.
This link jumps into books that give children a chance to explore spatial reasoning. Over and under, going that direction or going the other direction, mapping, perspective.
Children with strong spatial reasoning skills are more likely to succeed in STEM fields later on in life.
Geocaching is an activity that uses the GPS technology on your mobile device to allow for some real-life treasure hunting. It can mathematize otherwise ordinary situations, as it allows children to interact with real-world maps.