School Readiness = cognitive development + social skills + emotional skills + physical skills
SOCIAL SKILLS are crucial if a child is to make a successful start to school. Academic learning cannot take place if a child cannot socialise with their peers or participate in collaborative activities in a classroom. Social skills need to be explicitly taught to children.
NUMERACY: being able to rote count is not an early predictor of mathematics success. Too often parents are lead to believe that their child’s ability to count in an indicator of their mathematical ability, when in fact, it is more of an indication of a child’s working memorry. The ability to rote count requires the same cognitive skills involved in reciting a nursery rhyme.
(Note from Kate: I’m not suggesting not to teach your child to rote count, Im suggesting that this does not mean they will be a master mathematician)
Current research suggests a child’s ability to recognise patterns and structure is more of a predictive of their subsequent mathematical development in the early years. Children need to be able to copy, continue and create simple patterns with concrete materials such as blocks, handprints, shapes, leaves, stickers, coloured lids, before introducing counting patterns.
Incidental learning or finding the teachable moment in everyday life will help children build a strong foundation which will better prepare them for school and improved mathematics function. Cooking developes measurement skills, setting the table allows opportunities to see patterns and discuss the number of various objects, sort the laundry according to darks and lights, match socks, unpack groceries, plant seeds (counting), cut food into portions….there are so many everyday experiences that will set them up to be better mathematicians…but remember to TALK about them whilst you are playing, as giving them the language is just as important!
What activities do you do at home which encourages numeracy?
comment from Lyn: At the moment Miss S has a collection of coins totaling about $7. She brings them to me at least once a day and it’s a perfect ‘teachable moment’ right there with her interest level at its peak. We run through the name of each coin and different ways of combining coins to make the same total. We practice skip counting in 5s and 10s and we discuss the concept that the coins have values (she is still grasping the idea that eg 14 coins does not equal $14, and that 100 c equals $1. We revisit this concept each day)