Mathematics in Kindergarten
Concrete experiences are basic to the kindergarten math curriculum. At this early stage of schooling, math is as much about vocabulary as about numerals, and it is more concerned with consolidating understanding than with rote knowledge.
Teachers want children to understand these basic terms used to describe relations among objects or numbers: more than, less than, the same as, different from, equal to, and group or set.
Children commonly work with these spatial terms: near and far, in and out, above and below, up and down, top and bottom, in front of and in back of, open and closed, right and left, to and from, empty and full, between, beside, across, first, next, and last.
Children commonly learn to use the following terms of comparison: tall and short; big and small; long and short; tall, taller, tallest; short, shorter, shortest; big, bigger, biggest; small, smaller, smallest; long, longer, longest.
Most children arrive at kindergarten age with some experience in counting and some knowledge of numbers. At school they build on this base by learning to count to 20; to identify and write numerals up to 20; to order objects by first, second, third, fourth, and fifth; to match objects or sort them into groups by size or color; and to recognize that groups contain as many as five objects without having to count each object.
The study of shapes is an entry into geometry. Kindergarten children begin that study by learning to recognize circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles.
Time, money, and measurement
Teachers' goals in the areas of time, money, and measurement are that children tell time to the hour; understand such concepts as morning, afternoon, day, noon, and night; identify coins (penny, nickel, dime, quarter) and have some understanding of their value; learn to estimate distances as well as measure them informally with string, with their hands and feet, or with other imaginative contrivances; and identify differences in the size and weight of objects.
Reprinted from 101 Educational Conversations with Your Kindergartner -- 1st Grader by Vito Perrone, published by published by Chelsea House Publishers.
Copyright 1994 by Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main Line Book Co. All rights reserved.
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