Mathematics exploration in children’s early years is related to their immediate environment and is based on a sound foundation of concrete experiences. The classroom contains many sets of objects for counting, matching, classifying ordering, and making spatial relations.
Children’s games in and outside of the classrooms provide non-competitive practice for concepts which have previously been developed. In teaching young children mathematics concepts, we realize that:
- Math has to do with relationships among objects, events, and people such as “how many,” “how much,” “larger than,” “smaller than,” “same”, “different”, etc.
- Children explore these relationships by classifying, ordering, numbers, measurement, space, and time.
- Children within a given group may be at different levels of development with regard to mathematical concepts. Thus, the math concepts are introduced in an age and individual appropriate manner.
- Children develop naturally through many experiences with concrete objects before they can understand math concepts in the abstract;
- Math activities are more success oriented when they are integrated with other relevant science and social studies projects such as plotting the growth of baby hamsters or making a model of the neighborhood.