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Situations in School That the Teacher Can Use to “Teach” Number

by Early Math Counts

The 4th and final chapter of Kamii’s Number in Preschool and Kindergarten book looks at specific situations in the daily life of a classroom that she sees as opportunities to teach number. The chapter is divided into 2 halves: we will look at the first half this week and the second will be explored next week.

Before describing the situations that teachers can use to teach number, Kamii assumes that teachers are already optimizing children’s experiences by finding ways to put all sorts of things into relationships so that the focus of the math teaching is on the children’s mathematical thinking rather than on the quantification of objects.  She reasserts that this should be the center of the math curriculum.

Opportunities to explore and teach number are bountiful in the daily life of an early childhood classroom.  Kamii describes 6 distinct aspects of the day that can serve as opportunities to teach number organically.

1.  The Distribution of Materials

2.  The Division of Objects

3.  The Collection of Things

4.  Keeping Records

5.  Clean up

6.  Voting

Do you see how these 6 categories are connected to teaching math? How do you use the above to teach number in your program?

Over the next few weeks, I hope to look deeply at each of these topics so we can discover more and better ways to teach number.

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