Welcome to Early Childhood Mathematics! This course satisfies the Early Childhood Unified requirements in the state of Kansas for a teaching license Birth to Grade 3.
Most people agree that early childhood includes the period from infancy until eight years of age, characterized by rapid and complex growth in physical, cognitive, and social domains. Math skills must be taught in early childhood. Children should be provided a foundation to succeed in elementary school and beyond. Teachers should focus lessons in early childhood around the basic skills that will help to advance future mathematics. From preschool to the end of elementary school, children are setting the foundation for future life skills.
Learning mathematics is “a ‘natural’ and developmentally appropriate activity for young children” (Ginsberg, Lee, and Boyd, 2008). Through their everyday interactions with the world, many children develop informal concepts about space, quantity, size, patterns, and operations. Unfortunately, not all children have the same opportunities to build these informal and foundational concepts of mathematics in their day-to-day lives (Sherman-LeVos, 2010).
Young children are naturally curious, and the best time to begin mathematics is at a time while the young child’s brain is rapidly developing. Mathematics in early childhood helps children develop critical thinking and reasoning skills early on and it’s the key to the foundation for success in their formal schooling years.
Thank you to my husband, Dean Stramel, for supporting me during this project, as well as serving as my editor. From reading the early drafts to giving me feedback and advice, he was critical in the completion of this project. His encouragement and support sustains me!
Thank you to Laney Roth for giving me critical feedback. Your friendship, both professionally and personally, is invaluable as we support early childhood mathematics teachers.
For Tracy and Joshua