Getting Ready for School by Getting Ready for Math

Getting Ready for School by Getting Ready for Math

Math gets a bad rap in the world. We often hear it said that people hate math. And people tend to get more anxious when they know they are going to be asked to do math problems. This is unfortunate because math is important to our everyday lives. We wouldn’t be able to figure out how much something costs, or how many sandwiches we need to make for our kids’ lunches, if we hadn’t learned math.

And studies show that most kids don’t start out disliking math. In fact, more students today say that they like math classes than 10 years ago. Most kids get excited by the basic concepts that underlie math, like counting, recognizing numbers, and recognizing shapes and sizes. There is a lot that is FUN about math. In fact, most of the math concepts. Let’s take a look at some of the things they need to know and how to practice these skills.

  • Numbers-There are some basic things that you can teach your child about numbers.
    • Recognition – Just knowing what numbers look like and that they are different than letters is important. Point out numbers all around you. They are on houses, signs, in stores, and always fun to find in books!
    • Counting – it is also important for you child to know the sequence of numbers and that numbers refer to objects. Practice counting things all around you.
  • Sizes –Look at objects and compare them to see which one is bigger or smaller. This will help set kids up to be able to compare quantities…..
  • Quantities – Knowing about what “less” and “more” means is important. To teach this, you can show your child groups of objects and explain which group has more or less than the other. This is a good time to practice counting as well and talk about how some numbers are more or less than others.
  • Shapes– Look for different shapes in the world and point them out to your child. Then have your child point out and name different shapes. You can also count the sides of shapes. Find two objects that have similar shapes (even if they are not the same size-then you can decide which is bigger).
  • Simple problems-take groups of up to five objects and talk about what happens when you add or take away objects from the group. For example, if you have 3 Cheerios and add 1, count how many that makes. Or if you have 5 blocks and take way 2, count how many are left.

This month we are going to be posting tips about and activities for practicing math skills to help younger kids get ready for school. A lot of these activities could also be used for more complicated math skills or just to brush up on skills with older kids. Do you have a favorite math activity that you would like to share? Tell us about it in the comments.

Text: © Kids In Transition to School 2020

Image: © Nadezhda1906 | Dreamstime.com

Katherine Pears
Dr. Katherine Pears is a senior scientist at Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC). She earned her Ph.D in clinical psychology and has worked with OSLC since 1998. Katherine is the principal investigator and co-developer of the Kids In Transition to Schools (KITS) program. Currently, she oversees all the clinical and research activities for KITS. When she’s not in her office, you’ll find Katherine in the kitchen whipping up her latest creation or outdoors hiking a scenic trail.

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