Simple questions can go a long way in helping young children understand math and perform well in class.
Which person in the candy shop has more jelly beans? Is the sleeping child above the bed or below it? These are the types of questions a Purdue University study says preschool children should be exposed to that include “math language.”
“Simple math-related vocabulary and concepts, such as ‘more,’ ‘a lot,’ ‘some’ and ‘fewer,’ improves their mathematical skills,” the university said. In that statement, David Purpura, an assistant professor of human development and family studies, said children between 3 and 5 years old who were read stories with that sort of language and looked at pictures, and then discussed the concepts, “scored higher on math tests for not just these specific words, but also math skills that were not covered in the books.”
Research has shown that the early education years are crucial for building math competence. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics says “an engaging and encouraging climate for children’s early encounters with mathematics develops their confidence in their ability to understand and use mathematics.”
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