Teaching Number Recognition To Preschoolers (So they don’t know you are doing it!)by Nicole Avery+ on September 19, 2010 in Child Development
Welcome to the September Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.
The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is “Maths”, which isn’t just about counting! Our bloggers have written about games, materials, memory, shapes, graphs and more. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on Maths.
Helping preschoolers to recognise and identify numbers doesn’t have to be a formal affair. Preschoolers come across numbers repeatedly in their daily life. Over the years I have learned to use these as learning opportunities, to encourage exploration of number recognition and other basic mathematical concepts.
In a very early post on this blog I wrote about 10 Preschooler Early Learning Activities You Can Plan Into Your Day. It highlighted one of my preschoolers favourite activities – The Letterbox Game. As we walk home from taking the older children to school each morning, we take it in turns to say the numbers on the letter boxes as we walk past.
In the beginning if we saw a letter box that had a number like 20, the preschooler would say 2 – 0. As the preschooler begins to recognise more numbers beyond, 0 – 9, the game is extended and I help the preschooler learn the names of these numbers like twenty. I stay at each stage as long as the child is happy to play along. My current preschooler has a love of numbers, so loved learning number form 10 – 20 and then very quickly we were not only reading numbers on letterboxes, but anything around us that had a number on it like money and speed signs.
Just recently following the lead of the preschooler we have extended the game further as he wanted to know how to say “big” numbers like 326. He has always loved the hedge with the number carved into it which we walk past on the way home. It is amazing what can inspire kids to want to learn. So we starting reading the number 326 like three hundred and twenty six.
Once we had moved on to these “big” numbers, the preschooler wanted to say more big numbers, but the houses we walk past every day are generally numbered between 1 – 20. The preschooler then keenly observed, that car number plates have three numbers also, so we are now on to reading the number plates of the cars we walk past.
I love participating in my kids learning, following their lead and providing them with stimuli to fill their little minds. With numbers everywhere you look there is no need for flashcards or drilling, early numeracy can easily become just a part of your daily life.
How do you introduce number recognition to your preschooler?
More Numeracy Resources:
In 2006 the then Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training published a Early Learning Numeracy Cards (PDF). It is an excellent document and if you have a preschooler I would encourage you to down load it and have a read. The Numeracy Cards look at basic mathematic concepts and how they apply to daily life, for example they have a photo of a mother and child sorting laundry:
‘Grouping things together’ is about noticing if something is the same or different
What we do and what it means
Mum: Adele, come and help Mummy with the laundry.
Adele picks up a sock.
Mum: Oh good. You’ve found the other one?
Children learn to group things together when they notice if something is the ‘same’or ‘different’.
Lots of experiences with ‘same and different’ help children later on with describing how something may be different (eg has three more), rather than just how things look.
You can also try these for more inspiration on bringing maths into the everyday with your preschooler:
- Pre-number Concepts
- Parents Count Too – List of pamphlets to download from the NSW Department of Education and Training
- Early Numeracy (PDF) – Tasmanian Department Of Education
- Literacy and Numeracy Activity Sheet (PDF) – Queensland Ofﬁce for Early Childhood Education and Care
Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.
Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on “Maths.”
- Marita at Stuff With Thing writes about meal time maths with the help of our dinner table centrepiece and other food related maths fun
- AmandaB at HomeAge talks about numbers, shapes and sizes, who knew that nested building blocks could be so much more fun than just building them up and knocking them down!
- For Cass at Schooling Choices the car is one of her favorite learning tools. She thinks you could teach a child almost everything they needed to know about Math without ever leaving the car.
- Deb at Science@home let her kids raid the chocolate to measure and compare with scales and graphs.
- Backyard Safari is a right-brained person who spent a lifetime struggling with math, but comes to see the light through the wonder of nature.
- SMMART Ideas is another food learner, estimating with beans, noodles and cereal…and getting a little number writing practice in there too!
- For Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey, learning to tell the time is an important part of learning for a child, and it incorporates areas of Maths such as number recognition, counting, sequences and general numeracy.
- Narelle at A Bunch of Keys has a simple sorting activity that can be done with young children using things found around the home.
- Colin at Super Parents is writing about the discipline of maths, memory, and recall at 7 years old.
- Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now loves all the Montessori math materials. But there’s one material she says is absolutely brilliant.
- Miss Carly from Early Childhood Resources has a range of different mathematics activities that you can play with your children of all age groups!
- Ash from Mm is for Me has been having some number fun for little learners!
- The Planning Queen at Planning With Kids has games to teach number recognition to preschoolers – so they don’t know you’re doing it!
- Julie at Works For Me Homemaking says it might surprise you to know that maths is heavily reliant on language. Here is a brief discussion of some of the “language” of maths and why children struggling with language development may find maths difficult.
Thanks for visiting our carnival, we hope you find some interesting new blogs.