The focus of practicing is on the core mathematical skills (Aunio & Räsänen, 2015) that form the base for later mathematics learning, more specifically, mathematical relational skills, counting skills and addition and subtraction skills. Children learn concepts in relation to comparisons (e.g. more or less) of quantities and numbers, place value and the base-10 system.
Children practice reciting number words forward and backward in various ways: for example, in different steps (e.g. 2, 4, 6 … or 9, 7, 5 …) and starting from a given number (e.g. start from 5 and count up to 11). Many activities focus on practicing number words, number symbols and quantity correspondence. Shortened counting based on fives and tens are emphasised, thus introducing children to five-frames and ten-frames. In addition, counting principles (e.g. one-to-one correspondence and cardinality) are strengthened.
In addition and subtraction interventions, children learn key concepts and different calculation strategies (e.g. add 1, add 2, bonds of ten, doubles) and master towards fluent calculation skills.
- Aunio, P. & Räsänen, P. (2015). Core numerical skills for learning mathematics in children aged five to eight years – A working model for educators. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1080/1350293X.2014.996424.
- Clements, D. H. & Sarama, J. (2009). Learning and teaching early math. The learning trajectories approach. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Sarama, J. & Clements, D. H. (2009). Early childhood mathematics education research. Learning trajectories for young children. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Wright, R. J., Ellemor-Collins, D., & Tabor, P. D. (2012). Developing number knowledge. Assessment, teaching & intervention with 7-11-year-olds. London: SAGE.