What do you think about when you hear kindergarten math? Colouring? ABCs? Is there even a need for mathematics in kindergarten? But did you know even at a young age, kindergarteners learn some foundational math skills they will build on their entire academic careers? These pivotal skills are must-haves and Spark Math is here to cover the most essential ones. Here are the top 3 kindergarten math concepts your child should take into primary 1.
1) The Foundation of Geometry: 2D and 3D Shapes
Geometry in kindergarten? It’s still too early to learn about algebra or the Pythagorean theorem yet, but do look for them to know basic and more advanced shapes.
Starting in Nursery, students should become well acquainted with basic shapes such as triangles, squares, circles, and rectangles. As they progress, they should move up to shapes with more sides, like hexagons and octagons. At a minimum, children must be comfortable with identifying and drawing these 2D shapes to the best of their abilities. This will give them a solid platform for learning area, perimeter, and more complex geometry.
3D shapes are everywhere in everyday lives. Learning 3D shapes can help kindergarteners relate their learning more clearly to the world around them. Younger students should know common 3D shapes such as cylinders, cones, cubes, and spheres. They may not be applying math concepts to 3D shapes for several years; however, it’s quite beneficial to know as many of them as possible.
When children learn shape recognition, they also pick up a few practical skills along the way. Shape recognition can help children differentiate objects more easily and organise them based on their shape. Shapes also become important pieces in higher-level geometry and trigonometry, which benefits children in the long run when they encounter such topics in primary and secondary math.
2) Counting and Writing Numbers 0-20 from Any Number
Ideally, Nursery children should be counting to 20 and beyond before they even hit kindergarten. Things get a little trickier when they must write them out, and even more so when they need to start counting from any number.
The great thing about numbers is that once children learn the digits 0-9, they can make any number with the right knowledge. Handwriting is always a work in progress for kindergarten students, but writing from 0-20 is easily achievable. Students need this skill as they move to math by hand. Hopefully, once they get to 20 and understand the pattern, they will go all the way up to 100!
Counting from Any Number
It is a common pitfall for children to memorise and recite counting numbers. This can leave students baffled when asked, “What comes after 9 and before 11?” Our team remedies this by reinforcing how to start counting from any point in the sequence. This makes sure that numbers can become definable quantities instead of just a word they memorise and chant back.
It is well within reason students will move beyond 20 by the end of kindergarten. Pay close attention to your child and make sure they are able to not only count to 20, but can also write it and do it from any point in the sequence.
3) Addition and Subtraction from 0-10
This is the BIG and more daunting task for kindergarten students. Students simply can not move forward without mastering the ground floor of math. This is something they will progress toward by first learning to count and then being able to count from any number below 20.
Addition tends to be the easier concept naturally for students. This is where visual learning can play a huge part for younger students. Using props and visuals to represent adding will help struggling students. Parents can also support their children at home using their favorite toys and food to help them grasp the concept of addition.
Subtraction can be even more intimidating than addition for some students. Again, leaning on visual learning will put subtraction into terms young learners can process. Using the same methodology, parents can use familiar objects to simulate taking away.
These 2 concepts might seem scary at first, but things will fall in line with practice and support. Make sure your child has addition and subtraction under control by the end of kindergarten.
Kindergarten will not be introducing complex math like algebra, but it will be the most important step in your child’s math journey. Do your best to support your child and make sure they come out the other side of kindergarten knowing the bare essentials of math.
Don’t forget to check out our remaining series: Top 3 Math Concepts for Primary 1-4.
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