Introduction to Pre-number Math
Building pre-number math skills is a prerequisite to understanding numbers. So even before young children (aged 3 to 5 years) start with numbers, a fair amount of time should be invested in building these pre-number skills. Pre-number skills like matching, sorting, classifying, ordering and comparing will set the stage to build a strong number sense. Numbers should be introduced only after this. It’s after the numbers that the number names can be introduced. Because once the child is familiar with the numbers, associating it with the spelling is easier.
The Big Idea
At Cuemath pre-number math skills are built in preschool years. It begins by identifying and working with objects like colour counters, pattern blocks and number blocks. Then moving on to working with dots. Counting the dots and associating it with the right numbers. After the child has gained decent proficiency over this they move to counting and identifying only numbers. Thus, laying a strong foundation for number sense.
How do I understand?
A preferable way to introduce pre-number skills is by using physical objects like pattern blocks. Children can be asked to match, sort, classify pattern blocks. From the concrete (pattern blocks) one can move to matching and sorting images. Children can now be introduced to different quantities. An association between the number and the quantity needs to be formed. This association will help the children to understand the largeness or smallness of a number. Avoid introducing numbers in its abstract form. Rote memorization of numbers without visualizing its magnitude won’t build a good number sense.
Here are a few links that will take you through the journey that every Cuemath students undertakes in the pursuit of understanding Pre-Number Math along with practice worksheets: