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Tagged as: Mapping

A Map Activity or Two for Young Learners


The key concepts embedded in a good map activity that makes it mathematical is its relational nature. In order to work in, describe, or model space, we must manage relationships between objects and places, controlling positions to account for angles and lengths. Later on in mathematics, children will learn to apply numbers to such activities, measuring distances and angles, and learning the meaning of “parallel” and “equilateral,” but for now, their efforts will be focused on less precise ways to represent relationships between objects and places.
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.
Above is an excerpt from Big Ideas in Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know, Pearson (2014).
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