Part I: Mathematics Everyday and Everywhere
Part II: Mathematics Content for Young Children

About the Collection

The collection of articles from Teaching Children Mathematics, along with selected tasks, are intended to help teachers, parents, and childcare workers create a culture of mathematical thinking and positive dispositions in their classrooms, homes, and childcare centers. While the collection of articles can help educators envision how to support early learning, there is no “right” way or “best” way to support young children’s early learning of mathematics. For that reason the articles provide a wide array of contexts for learning. Children learn through open-ended play at a water table, by engaging in regular classroom routines like taking attendance and lining up for recess, by playing games with rules, and through structured tasks. Children learn mathematics through integrated activities such as songs, movement, science, and literature, through focused opportunities to learn properties of number and shape, or through problem-solving tasks. Opportunities to learn mathematics exist in both child-initiated activities and adult-initiated and adult-directed activities. Children learn by using structured materials like blocks, puzzles, and counters and unstructured materials like feathers, shells, and paper. Regardless of the learning context, the collection of articles and activities all portray young children to be curious, confident, and capable learners. 

The collection of articles and activities is organized into two parts: part I, “Mathematics Everyday and Everywhere,” and part II, “Mathematics Content for Young Children.” Each chapter includes an introduction, selected Teaching Children Mathematics articles, and tasks based on the articles or created for this book and tested with prekindergarten and kindergarten children to illustrate the mathematics and pedagogy appropriate for prekindergarten and kindergarten. 

There are four chapters in part I. Chapter 1, “Curriculum for the Curious,” and chapter 2, “Learning Alongside Children,” include introductions and selected articles describing curriculum content, mathematical practices, and pedagogy supportive of young children’s mathematical learning. Chapter 3, “In the Classroom,” which focuses on articles and activities for circle time, exploratory play, and classroom routines, and chapter 4, “Connections to Home,” include introductions, articles illustrating opportunities to integrate mathematical thinking in everyday activities at school and in the home, and selected task menus.  

The four chapters in part II, “Mathematics Content for Young Children,” provide focused introductions to the mathematical processes, practices, and concepts that young children should have opportunities to learn. Current research along with Curriculum Focal Points (NCTM 2006) at the prekindergarten and kindergarten levels and the Common Core State Standards for kindergarten were used to determine content appropriate for young children. Chapter 5, “Mathematical Processes and Practices,” chapter 6, “Number and Quantitative Reasoning,” chapter 7, “Geometry and Spatial Reasoning,” and chapter 8, “Measurement and Data,” include the key mathematical topics in each of these areas, as well as selected articles and tasks illustrating the mathematical content and practices for prekindergarten and kindergarten children.