How to facilitate learning mathematics?
It is very important to take advantage of children's early years to build the logical-mathematical notions that develop mathematical thinking , that is, the way they reason and solve problems.
Having these bases, learning mathematics at school will be much easier!
These notions are built from their own experiences, with the interaction with specific objects, in the exploration of their environment and all through play.
What are the logical-mathematical notions that will give children the fundamental bases to reason and solve problems?
As adults, it is important to be informed about these notions, so that when playing, we include some of these elements and thus take advantage of these moments of interaction to strengthen these skills. Learn activities to strengthen the development of these skills in The Tool-be Blog
In this video we explain all the notions. Below the video, you can also learn about them. See here
- Order or serie: When we establish relationships between objects according to characteristics such as size, texture, color, shape and from this, we can organize them in ascending, descending or following series such as "Big - small - big - small...", "Yellow - white - yellow - white" or even more complicated series like "Chicks big yellow - small white - small yellow - big white - small black"
- Comparison: In this process, characteristics of two objects, people or situations are determined, it involves an analysis through which similarities and differences can be established. For example: “This chick is yellow, just like this other one”, “This chick is heavier than this other chick”.
- Classification: It consists of gathering or separating elements according to their similarities and differences, building relationships between them according to their characteristics. As we know more characteristics of the element, we can make a broader classification into groups or subgroups. For example, we can classify our clothes according to their color, forming groups of clothing items of different colors or we can classify animals that have 4 legs and those that have 2 legs.
Correspondence: It is the formation of union of elements and can occur at three levels:
- Object-object with lace , for example: Hat - head, padlock - key.
- Object-object whose relationships are natural, for example: Chicken - nesting box, Plate-spoon.
- Object-sign, for example: Love - heart, child - name
- Space: It is the ability to perceive, relate and compare the characteristics of objects according to their position in space – time, for example. These notions can be: Near, far, above, below, in front, behind, above, below... we identify the position of the object: “The hen is in front of the nest box” “The black chick is on top of the nest box.”
- Time: It is usually the most difficult notion for children to internalize, which is why it is important that in our conversations we include notions of time such as yesterday, today, tomorrow, in the morning, at night, among others.
- Conservation of quantity: This occurs when we realize that the quantity remains the same, even if it is distributed in a different space or shape. For example, if we have two balls of plasticine that are exactly the same and we cut one of them into two parts, the quantity of the two new smaller balls is equal to the large ball. Another example could be when we have a glass of water, if we pour a little water into another glass, although now it is divided into two glasses it is still the same amount of water.
- Sets: They are a collection of objects or elements that share characteristics to belong to the set, for example: In a set of animals we can include cows, horses, dolphins, lions, sea horses, among others. But if we want to have a set of only water animals, then from the set of animals we can only use dolphins and sea horses. Animal Flashcards are a wonderful tool for learning the notion of sets.
- Number: When we begin to understand that numbers help us represent quantities, for example: we relate the five chicks with a number each when counting, so that, when mentioning each number, we associate it with one of the chicks.
- Quantifiers: They allow us to understand the notion of quantities, magnitudes and numbers that represent information. Some quantifiers are: All, a lot, too much, quite a bit, quite a bit, little, nothing, none. An example using quantifiers is: “I want many pieces of apple”, “There are few eggs here”.
After developing these notions, children will develop these mathematical thinking skills:
- Numerical: This thinking is achieved through the notions of number that children have built through their experiences. Little by little they have begun to understand the graphic representation of the number and the relationship they have with reality, this is how they understand that the number represents a value and that they can associate it with concrete objects, which will then allow them to be able to appropriate mathematical operations. .
- Metric: When children have the opportunity to explore measurements of spaces, the size of people, the weight of food and other elements, they are promoting the development of their metric thinking. Having experiences in which they create their own measurement patterns will allow them to explore other uses of numbers and inquire about the characteristics of objects, for example, when they take measurements of space using their steps, when they use objects such as popsicle sticks to measuring objects, or when they play to discover how many glasses of water fit in a large bottle. All of this is known as non-standardized measures.
Geometric and spatial: The development of this thinking is linked to a correct perception of objects, which is based on geometric manipulation, decomposition and integration and analytical representation. This thought is mobilized through three components:
- Visualization: The child creates, interprets, constructs, composes and decomposes shapes. Here domains of form, transformations and symmetry are reached.
- Orientation: The child knows and determines the position of an object in space or one's own position in relation to the space that surrounds it. This component helps to understand and analyze maps, coordinates, directions, locations, among others. In addition, it helps to make and describe movements taking into account a reference system.
- Reasoning: With reasoning, the child can make inferences about space, that is, generate answers to questions or solve problems. This is achieved through comparison, classification, relationship and description of shapes and movements.
- Random: This thinking allows us to interpret reality based on the search, collection, analysis and representation of data. Random thinking encourages research and exploration, and also allows statistical understanding.
- Variational: Two fundamental elements are built: Reversibility and transversality. It is a way of thinking in which fundamental concepts for variation and change are built. For example, when on a scale we know that two cubes weigh the same as a chick, we could make inferences about how many cubes we need for the scale to be balanced, if we had 2 chicks there.