It is lunchtime and a young mother asks her preschool child, “Do you want a whole sandwich, two halves, or four quarters?”
The mom is doing more than tricking her child into choosing a whole sandwich. She is exposing her young child to math in the real world.
There are fun and interesting ways to make math a part of your child’s life, long before it becomes a subject in school. Pre-kindergarten children can and should be accumulating important math foundations in positive ways. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics recommends that the focus of math for this age group be on number and operations, beginning geometry, and measurement, and should include some exposure to algebra and data analysis.
Children love to count everything. Counting is an important concept in number and operations. As they count how many stairs they jump down on the way to school, they not only learn to say numbers in order (which is known as rote counting), but also that each hop down is associated with a number word, starting at one.