Based on her research of how preschoolers learn numbers throughout first grade, Bethany Rittle-Johnson, a professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt University (Tennessee), explained the most important elements of early math – some information that any parent and preschool teacher must know. According to Rittle-Johnson, learning about amounts, equal sign understanding and patterns recognition, in particular, should start early. These are the seven most remarkable points to be taken in consideration:

  1. Kids need to understand fundamental math concepts and memorize basic math facts.

  2. How practice math problems are structured is important. Kids cannot grasp math rules without hints.

  3. Understanding of the equal sign is a key element in early math learning.

  4. Using hands-on materials to teach basic math is a good method, however it shouldn’t be overdone. To point out real-life math situations is recommended.

  5. Preschool math should be taught purposefully.

  6. Learning numbers early is very important, but it does not mean that kids should be limited to only learn how to count.

  7. The teaching of pattern should be part of the Common Core Standards for kindergarten math.

    Picture: Math Olympics 2020 (Arcanys Early Learning Foundation)