Preschool Math Should Focus On Patterns Not Numbers Research SayBy Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
Counting and writing numbers are good but teaching kids how to identify patterns and compare quantities without counting can be a better strategy in introducing math to preschool students. This was according to the findings from a recent research.
The research, published in the journal Child Development, involved more than 500 children from low-income families between the ages of 4 and 11. The research had two phases because the goal was to determine whether the math skills of children can be determined as early as 4 years old.
The researchers tested the general and math skills of the kids. The math skills include counting, understanding written numbers, patterning, comparing quantities, calculating, and understanding shapes. This test took place when the kids were at the end of their preschool year.
The same kids were tested again when they reached their fifth grade. This time, the kids were tested the different ranges of their math knowledge. Through this, the researchers found that the math skills in preschool support the skills in first grade and son on. Moreover, they also found out that comparing quantities and patterning skills are strong indicators of math achievement in later years.
That's because children learn patterns naturally although they don't know the name of the object. According to an article on Bright Horizons, a child knows what is missing in a typical routine and, at the same time, they also know what c`omes next. For example, they know that in a typical routine a nap comes after they eat lunch.
Moreover, patterns occur naturally in our daily lives, such as the stripes on a shirt, the shapes of things around us, or the sounds we hear. That is also the reason why it's easy for kids to learn "Heads, and shoulders, knees, and toes" because the song represents a pattern. With that in mind, perhaps it's time preschool math takes a cue.