Friday, May 24, 2013

Early Math Skills & Quantitative Knowledge

Exploring balance at DCM
Early math skills are highly valued by many parents, caregivers and early learning professionals. As early as preschool, efforts to encourage math skills can mean counting stairs or identifying shapes found around the home.  Repeat experience and mastering early math-oriented skills allow room for new skills and lay a good foundation for the development of quantitative knowledge.

Quantitative knowledge is addressed in this second installment in a series of blogs on the broad abilities noted in the Cattell-Horn-Caroll (CHC).  CHC is a model that has been developed to describe 10 broad abilities and 70 narrow abilities of intelligence (Lynch & Warner, 2013). 

Quantitative Knowledge

During imaginary play the scene is set.  A three-year-old lays out a blanket on the grass, grabs his bowl of raisins and cheese crackers and shares with his bear, saying, “A raisin for you, a cracker for me, raisin for you, cracker for me.” A parent might recognize these skills in amazement, thinking, My child is sorting and classifying food!
Children’s acquisition of formal mathematics and mathematical operations is related to the broad ability of quantitative knowledge. Mathematical concepts such as rote counting, counting as meaning, one-to-one correspondence, classification and operations such as adding and subtracting are also included in this ability.  Recognizing shapes and identifying patterns, as well as identifying and understanding numbers, form the foundation for children’s ability to function mathematically (Lynch & Warner, 2013).  

Stay tuned, next week we will discuss crystallized intelligence. In the meantime, visit us at the Museum and wander through our Math Connections neighborhood, where opportunities to explore quantitative knowledge are readily available!

Information in this blog has been adapted from: Lynch, Sharon A. and Warner, L. 2013. “How Adults Foster Young Children’s Intellectual Development.” In Young Children, Vol. 68, No. 2, 86-91. Washington, DC: NAEYC.

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