Early math is not about the rote learning of discrete facts like how much 5 + 7 equals. Rather, it’s about children actively making sense of the world around them. Unlike drills or worksheets with one correct answer, open-ended, playful exploration encourages children to solve problems in real situations.
Because the situations are meaningful, children can gain a deeper understanding of number, quantity, size, patterning, and data management.
For example, it is easier to understand what six means when applied to a real-life task such as finding six beads to string on a necklace or placing one cracker on each of six plates. It is for this reason that we cotton balls, colorful paper, and numbers to practice our counting. To fit this into our winter theme, we used colorful illustrations numbered 10-14.
These symbolized clouds that your little ones made by sorting them by number. They started by placing them onto the clouds in no particular order. Once they mastered this task, they added them (while counting out loud) with the number ten on the top and the number fourteen on the bottom. Next, they practiced adding and subtracting different cotton balls and counting them.