“Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations, or algorithms: It is about understanding” – William Paul Thurston
When we think about teaching toddlers math it is hard to imagine them grasping concepts needed to complete equations, however, more advanced mathematical skills are based on an early math “foundation.” Our goal in Toddlers is to further develop this foundation by using many different methods.
Number sense – This is the ability to count accurately. In Toddlers we count everything! We begin each circle with counting to ten, throughout the day we count the things around us, and we even sing counting songs!
Measurement – In Toddlers we teach measurement in “Cooking class.” This teaches the toddlers different quantities for baking and introduces concepts for fractions. For example, ½ cup of sugar. The toddlers also get to participate using fine motor skills for filling, stir and pouring. Through these activities children learn, naturally, to count, measure, add, and estimate.
Patterns – Patterns are things such as: numbers, shapes, images, or colors that repeat in a logical way. Patterns help children to make predictions, to understand what comes next, to make logical connections, and to use reasoning skills. In this unit, “The Jungle,” we are using patterns found on animals and having the toddlers repeat them using unifix blocks.
Sorting – Sorting or classifying is a natural process that develops early in child development and it is a beginning math skill. Children use sorting to organize and understand the world around them by grouping things that are alike. It may seem like early math is about learning numbers and quantity, but there is much more to it. Practicing sorting at an early age is important for numerical concepts and grouping number and sets when they are older. In Toddlers we are constantly sorting by size, shape, color, and even by unit. For example, which animals live on a farm and which ones live in the jungle?
Have a great day!
Teacher Terea and Teacher Ana