5 Things You Need to Know About Teaching Preschool Math
There are many lessons to be learned from a preschool classroom… How to remove gum, glue, and food from hair, every single word to every single Frozen song, the importance of sparkly stickers, and so on. Somewhere in between we also cover subjects like math. Numbers and counting are amongst the most essential cognitive toddler skills, and also one of the most frustrating for many young children. As teachers and caretakers, we all seeks to create an environment that makes even the toughest educational lessons comfortable.
Math shouldn’t be a scary word, and if we want our kids to agree, it’s time to take action. Here are five things you need to know about teaching toddlers math that can make a BIG difference in their attitude towards the subject now and in the future:
It’s Not Just About the Numbers
Understanding math starts with understanding patterns and organization. Any task or game that incorporates repeating patterns or shapes helps build math skills. Try using blocks, mobile games, and patterned coloring sheets to build up patterning, logic, and reasoning skills.
Get the Shapes Down
While it’s important to tackle number concepts, focusing on shapes first can help. Learning shapes is an excellent introductory math concept – it’s a great transition into numbers, and will help boost your toddler’s confidence. Shapes tend to appeal more to toddlers because they are more sensory; it’s possible to see, touch, even taste a shape. The more senses activated in a lesson, the more likely toddlers are to retain the new knowledge.
Talking About Math Is Just as Important as Doing It
One of the issues around math is the negative attitudes we perpetuate. “Math is so difficult!” “I’m not a math person.” “I was never good at math.” These statements have a big effect on little ones; don’t forget toddlers are literally tiny mimic machines. Instead, try to use positivity to point out all the ways we constantly use math (“There are two apples.” “You can play for 30 minutes.” “How many toys in this box?”). That way, math becomes a simple part of everyday life.
Music Is a Powerful Tool
Music is a powerful and highly underused tool for learning math. There are tons of fantastic toddler and kids' sing-alongs that teach numbers and teach counting. Get your child clapping and singing along with the song to activate even more sensory learning. Besides toddler sing-alongs, listening to any music in general can help kids too. The rhythms create patterns, and by only clapping along and/or dancing, kids are learning about patterns and numbers. Music is an incredible resource that’s proven to boost creativity and learning retention in people of all ages.
Repetition Is Key
Many teachers and parents are turned-off by the idea of flashcards and repetition because they believe it limits creativity. However, repetition is totally essential when it comes to teaching, especially when teaching toddlers counting and other early math skills. The trick is to find ways to make this repetition fun. There are lots of mobile games that are interactive and actually boost creativity.
Got any tips for teaching toddlers math? Share your fun ideas with us!Tags : math preschool toddler