Teaching Math to Young Children

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MathAlthough young children have a natural curiosity related to math, it can still be somewhat challenging to teach them mathematical concepts. A new practice guide from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) provides evidence-based recommendations to help guide teachers with math instruction for young children ages 3 to 6. This guide, entitled Teaching Math to Young Children, was funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.

In the guide, educators and other experts compiled a list of five best-practice recommendations. These recommendations include:

  1. Teaching number and operations using a developmental progression;
  2. Teaching geometry, patterns, measurement, and data analysis using a developmental progression;
  3. Using progress monitoring to ensure that math instruction builds on what each child knows;
  4. Teaching children to view and describe their world mathematically; and
  5. Dedicating time each day to teaching math, and integrating math instruction throughout the school day.

The authors of this publication note that the recommendations are “designed to capitalize on children’s natural interest in math to make their preschool and school experience more engaging and beneficial.” Each recommendation also includes an overview of its supporting evidence. Step-by-step instructions are also included so that practitioners should be able to implement them with ease. Potential obstacles and methods to overcome these obstacles are included.

This guide can be accessed at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/PracticeGuide.aspx?sid=18.

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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