Monday, March 24, 2014

Our Preschool and Kindergarten Math Goals

 By the end of kindergarten, child can:
-identify shapes (triangle, circle, rectangle)
-count to 100
-count objects, matching sets of objects with 1-to-1 correspondence
-order the numbers 1 through 10
-match sets of objects with numbers
-identify coins (penny, nickel, dime)
-understand the word “sort”
-sort like objects, such as coins
-identify most and fewest/least
-identify the longest object in a set
-measure an object accurately using nonstandard units (such as pennies,                                                  paperclips, Unifix cubes, etc.)

Some things we do to work on these goals:
-We make pictures with pattern blocks.
-We count using a hundred board and Unifix cubes.
-We do dot-to dot pages. (Kumon's My Book of Number Games 1-70 is wonderful for learning to        
            identify numbers, count, and practice fine motor skills.)
-We put coins in a bank.
-We sort things (manipulatives by color or shape, refrigerator magnets by color, coins, etc.). 

Mason believed a child should master working with the numbers 1-10 before moving on to larger numbers.  At present in my school district, kindergarteners must be able to write numbers 1 to 100, in order, from memory, before they have mastered working with the numbers 1-10.  Being able to count and being able to identify numbers is very different than understanding one-to-one correspondence.  It's like being able to sing the ABC song without understanding which letters make which sounds (or even that letters make sounds).  Children should not be made to memorize a list of numbers, nor should they be made to write these numbers when they are only just learning how to write.

A child does not need to be able to do this whole list before moving on to the skills on the first grade list.  For example, many children can identify a circle, triangle, and rectangle, before entering kindergarten, so a child who can identify a circle can then learn to identify half a circle.

Once a child can count objects up to 30, you can use a hundred board to help the child see a pattern: 10, 20, 30, 40...100.

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