# Preschool Math

What should be included to describe the background of the educational classroom and the goals for counting for preschoolers?

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## SOLUTION This solution is **FREE** courtesy of BrainMass!

Your curriculum (national, local, or school specific) will mostly determine the goals of preschool math. In general though, a preschool mathematics classroom has future concepts in mind, so the goals and strategies of the classroom would have some future lessons in mind such as place value, addition and subtraction (with and without regrouping) thus, it will seem logical to concentrate on counting and building into simple addition and subtraction.

There are a few points you can consider in thinking of the goals and classroom of the preschool mathematics classroom:

1. Counting is connected to language acquisition. There are psychological effects of number names on the counting. The Chinese number names are innately helpful for place value (you can research more on this but to give you an idea, in chinese, 253 is said as "er bai wu shi san" which literally -- and logically -- translates to "two hundred five ten three"). If your primary language in the classroom is English, then children will commit a lot of mistakes in counting because English number names are more complex (some children may count like this: seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, "tenteen"). To use differentiated instruction (and as a general rule) counting is not recitation of the number sequence, it is the counting of objects, thus, counting must always takes place with objects present because. Consider multiple representations to describe the classroom (verbal, symbolic, pictorial). You may also think about writing numerals as an essential activity. You can also think of approaches to address counting misconceptions.

2. Children start school with naive concepts of number mostly acquired from the household. It is vital for the classroom to "build on the initial and often fragile understanding that children bring to school and make it more reliable flexible and general" (NRC, 2001) Once this is achieved, you can actually head to addition (combining objects) without penning it as addition. Using differentiated instruction, go through a variety of avenues such as counting different objects to count but take note that counting should take place with similar objects, e.g., two chairs and three bananas don't make five of anything specific. Consider the use of word problems in this context.

3. Effectively, preschool children are generally interested in math and numbers.

4. Although it will seem that preschool children might understand counting by the end of the course, there is a limit to the numbers that you can use. They will be confined to very small numbers (probably, at most until the number 20). It will be incorrect to assume that they would have developed general counting principles by the end of preschool.

In learning mathematics, always consider five things: the concept needed, the procedures children have to learn, the strategies they'll employ, the reasoning that they'll use, and the overall disposition of the child.

Your best reference for counting and mathematical knowledge of preschool students is in Chapter 5 of Adding it Up (2001) by the National Research Council (Eds. J. Kilpatrick, J. Swafford, B. Findell).

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