Mathematics knowledge, interests, and skills are basic to children’s success in school and later life. Mathematics is a way of thinking, knowing, problem-solving, and reasoning that is accessible to all children regardless of their prior knowledge and experiences. From a very early age, mathematics helps children to connect ideas; develop logical thinking; and question, analyze and understand the world around them.
Through their senses, children embrace mathematics as an integral part of their world. Children thrive in environments that promote thinking and curiosity, are rich in mathematical language, and nurture their natural drive to explore and experiment with numbers, shapes, measurement, and patterns. Spontaneous and planned math experiences that are developmentally appropriate encourage children’s positive attitudes towards mathematics. (Arizona Department of Education, Early Learning Standards, 4th ed., May 2018)
Students at Valley View are surrounded by numeracy concepts all day, beginning with morning circle when students help their teachers take attendance by either counting girls and boys or making a list of who is present and counting. Many times teachers will incorporate a survey or poll with morning circle providing students with an opportunity to discuss and compare results. Children can always choose to work in the block area where ideas and skills about spatial reasoning are introduced and practiced. Table choices are also provided daily where patterns, puzzles and numbers are available for play, practice and manipulation. Problem solving is encouraged daily with any situation that needs to be negotiated or resolved inside the class or out. Teachers are skilled in asking questions that lead students to use their logical reasoning and analytical skills.