understanding and applying mathematics standards for young children 5
tion shows the National Mathematics Advisory Panel acknowledges that
fluency with whole numbers and fractions (number sense) and certain
aspects of geometry and measurement are important foundations for later
algebra. Similarly, NCTM closely connects algebra and data analysis to
their Curriculum Focal Points. All five content standards are important
and complement one another. The relationships among standards are
highlighted for each activity throughout this book.
Why is “math talk” important in the early years?
Research has shown that the amount of math-related talking teachers
engage in with young children is significantly related to the mathemati-
cal learning of the children over the school year (Klibanoff et al. 2006,
59–69). Intentional teachers can integrate math talk into the numerous
conversations they have with children throughout the day, whether during
play, snack or lunch, circle time, or actual math activities. For example,
while interacting with children in the block area, the teacher might model
one-to-one correspondence for those who skip over objects when count-
ing. The teacher might say, “Help me count the cars on my train. I want to
make sure I don’t miss any.”
Teachers can also use leading questions to encourage children to think
mathematically. When children encounter a mathematical problem, the
teacher can serve as a facilitator. Careful choice of questions can move
Table 2: NCTM Process Standards in Mathematics
Process Standard Description
Problem Solving problem solving involves drawing upon previous knowledge to solve
a unique problem. it is a primary means by which children develop
reasoning and Proof reasoning and proof encompasses developing and evaluating
Communication the communication standard encourages children to formulate
and express their mathematical thinking.
Connections the connections standard includes interconnections among various
areas of mathematics, as well as the relationship between mathematics
and other curricular areas.
representation representation encompasses the variety of methods that children use
to model and communicate mathematical concepts.