Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The first step to numeracy

Our daughter is 4 years old and we've been starting to teacher her but now we are going to become more serious about it.

The first thing to know about mathematics is that it is a method to express concepts in a simple and direct manner. In other words, a language.

It's alphabet consists of only ten letters which we call numerals: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

They have names just like letters do:
0 = zero
1 = one
2 = two
3 = three
4 = four
5 = five
6 = six
7 = seven
8 = eight
9 = nine
10 = ten and so on.

We can combine these numerals into numbers: 3, 12, 42, 394.

Numbers are a representation of physical items. 4 is the same as "four" is the same as ••••.

While teaching a child to learn to count is easy enough, we were able to teach our daughter to recite the numbers from 1-10 in a couple of days, that is not the point of this exercise.

The point is to get her to relate any group of 6 objects as being the same amount. This means counting lots of things when we are with her. Counting groups of blocks, and then rearranging them and then counting something totally unrelated to blocks is important. This is taking more time but we know the effort is highly worth it.

No comments: