In an attempt to foster their students’ academic development, many well meaning educators may be tempted to provide flash cards as an initial learning tool.
This is not the best method for teaching young children math skills with understanding.
Many four-year-olds may be able to identify a 4, but they don’t understand what 4 means.
It’s important to understand the difference between conceptual learning and skill development.
Instead of flashcards, children can count things that are familiar to them. Counting socks, toy cars, or other toys will maintain their attention because these items have meaning to them. For this activity, we practiced counting numbers 9-14.
Students were given plastic pipes with numbers affixed to them. They were then directed to connect them together, starting with 9 and ending with 14. This helped them not only understand what numbers look like, but their function.