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Parents & the Promotion of Math Readiness for Preschoolers

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MATH is a natural part of life—it’s everywhere! The goal of learning math concepts for preschoolers is … –To develop in the child a basic understanding of patterns in his or her environment –To give them the tools to learn the more complex math concepts presented in school. –To make math FUN!

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What might children entering Kindergarten need to know? They might, for example, need to… Be able to count items to 10 Recite numbers to 20 Identify basic shapes Understand concepts such as ‘more’, ‘less’, ‘yesterday’, ‘tomorrow’, etc. Understand the purpose of numey & identify some common coins

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What is Math??? There are two types of Math… Thinking Math & Content Math

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THINKING MATH Problem solving is the key to doing all other types of math. It involves the ability to explore, think through issues, and reason logically to solve routine as well as unusual problems. Communication means finding ways to express ideas & solutions. Reasoning is used to think through problems and come up with answers. Connections allow children to see patterns and relationships, and lets them apply rules to many situations.

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What can parents do? Invite your children to be curious and figure out solutions to everyday problems. Talk about the problem, asking for ideas, and then talk about how they thought of their answers. Encourage your children to suggest problems and ask questions. Talk to your children and listen to what they have to say. Read books that rhyme, repeat, or have numbers in them Make pictures or models to represent numbers or problems.

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Ask questions and give them time to think about answers. Ask your children to figure out why something is the way it is, then hear their ideas. Have your children think about & solve problems in everyday living—like sorting groceries and fitting them in the cupboard or choosing a blanket that fits their bed. Look for math in life & use it—let children help measure things, arrange things in order of size, color, etc. or count things used for a particular purpose

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CONTENT MATH Patterns & Relationships Number sense & numeration Geometry & spatial sense Measurement Fractions Estimation Statistics & probability

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What can parents do? Look for patterns in pictures, designs, events, etc. to show them String things (pasta, beads, etc.) into patterns Count real things Sort objects by size, color, shape, etc. Talk about what numbers are used for (keeping scores, addresses, etc.)

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Help them identify shapes Have them manipulate things with different shapes & talk about them Describe where they are (under, on, beside objects, etc.) Have older children find ‘hidden’ shapes in the house. Let children ‘measure things, using made- up measurements, like “how many blocks high is your bed?” Talk to them any time you are measuring things in daily life, telling them what you are doing.

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Play ‘time games’ and talk about time (that’s after lunch, or that’s in 5 more minutes). Help children understand fractions by dividing food, chores, treats, etc. into equal portions. Have children guess ‘how long’, ‘how many’, ‘how much…’, and compare to the final answer. Have children tell you who is ‘tallest’, ‘shortest’, what object is ‘biggest’, ‘longest’, etc. Use charts to help children track how many of an object has been used. Use chips or stickers to represent objects and record how often something has happened or been used.

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The best way to teach math is not to teach it at all— just experience it! Think about folding math concepts into your daily activities and conversations and your children will learn naturally, without fuss or stress. They’ll see math not as a chore, but as a fun part of everyday life!

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