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Learning about numbers in kindergarten
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Sharpe, P. (1999). Learning about numbers in kindergarten. The Mathematics Educator, 4(2), 70-82.
The study was concerned with pre-school children whose school activities range from to 2 to 3 hours to full day, providing some play-based activities, but little informal activity and oral work. Expectations of primary schools are high, and parents are anxious about preparation. Thus, many pre-schools emphasise accuracy and achievement,
neglecting the individual needs of some children who later find the primary school
curriculum daunting, especially mathematics.
Reported here are observations made during oral interviews with over 200 six year olds about strategies used to solve routine addition and subtraction tasks. The findings indicate that pre-school teachers may want to modify their mathematics teaching to take account of the heterogeneity in young children's numeracy development and the inconsistent strategies used to handle routine tasks. Also reported is an attempt to help the children form firmer mental images of the number system through oral encounters involving explanations and justifications of solutions, and, identification and analyses of misconceptions.
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