Teaching math to young children is a process. Each child learns differently and will begin to understand the concepts of math at a different pace. By teaching math in a preschool classroom, your students will have an advantage when it comes to kindergarten and beyond.
While including math in your preschool curriculum may seem like a no-brainer, figuring out how to organize your curriculum and encourage learning may not be as easy. Here are 5 tips for teaching math to your preschoolers and ensuring that each student shows progress.
1. Organize Learning by Stages
When planning your curriculum, you won’t be able to place a worksheet in front of your students immediately. Start by providing your students with things they can touch. Blocks, counting bears, or other tangible objects will allow your students to make the connection between numbers and objects. You can even play a game where your students are up and moving about. This will help with attention and garner excitement over math.
After your students have grasped that concept, move on to pictures, books, or flashcards. The last stage of learning is abstract learning. This is where you can place a worksheet in front of your students, though it is unlikely preschoolers will be advanced enough to reach the abstract learning stage.
2. Use Technology to Your Advantage
In this day and age, most children will have technology at their fingertips. Bring video into your classroom or find music that educates. You can even ask parents to utilize screen time for education outside the classroom.
There are many educational apps available for download on your mobile device. Some of these include:
3. Communicate Classroom Teachings to Parents
Communicating with parents is the norm for preschool-age children. When talking about the ins and outs of their child’s day, don’t forget to mention what you are focusing on and how they can help encourage learning at home.
Some ways you can inform parents include chatting with them upon drop off and pick up, sending home handouts with their child, or sending out weekly classroom newsletters. By giving examples of how they can encourage learning outside the classroom, their child will learn concepts quicker.
4. Encourage Curiosity
When it comes to learning, relating things to topics that children already understand and enjoy is a great way to foster excitement over learning. Get to know your students and take note of the things that interest them. Does one of your students like animals? Does another student enjoy learning about cars? Whatever their interests may be, relate it back to math.
Encourage your students to ask questions and seek real-life applications of what they are learning. Ask them questions like ‘if the mom tiger at the zoo has 6 cubs, but 2 get taken away to go on an adventure, how many cubs does she have with her still?’. Your math questions can be about anything as long as they are created with the goal of capturing interest and helping students make concrete connections between math and the world around them.
5. Celebrate Student Accomplishments
As your students reach milestones, no matter how small, don’t forget to celebrate. Whether the accomplishment is showing interest in learning or completing an activity correctly, a celebration is always a great way to spark interest.
Hosting events or small competitions followed by a prize will encourage participation. Involve parents or other classrooms to spread the excitement.
Teaching preschoolers in general can be fun. Bringing math into the classroom gives many opportunities to engage your students and foster excitement about learning. While enhancing your curriculum, grow your engagement with parents by using a child care center software like Jackrabbit Care. See what features you can use at your child care center by clicking below.