So is it true that our preschoolers are more competent in learning math and science concepts than we believe possible? Here are three thoughts to ponder in regard to introducing abstract thinking to young children:
• From birth, babies are interpreting and reacting to the world around them using intuitive math and science skills. For example, a 9-month-old demonstrates some sense of number when looking at a picture of two circles at the moment two drumbeats are played.
• Math scores of preschoolers predict future math and literacy outcomes. This shows that higher level thinking skills and knowledge of math at an early age will help to close the achievement gap when the children are older.
• When it comes to teaching the STEM model of instruction, a teacher or parent need not feel like he or she has to be some kind of math or science professor. It is more important to know what questions to ask rather than worrying about having all the answers. For more information on this topic, check out this website: http://www.claytonearlylearning.org/blog/?p=541.
The authors have a combined 75 years of teaching experience in kindergarten, first, second and third grade in area schools. Their book, “Kitchen Table Time: Recipes for Success” can be found at I Love Books in Delmar and The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland.