MODEL

Math PK-2

Systems Change
Math PK-2

About This Model

The goals for students’ math skills in Grades PK-2 include gaining a rich conceptual understanding of what numbers are and how they work together. Understanding the Learner Factors and strategies that impact math skills and how they connect to each other can help you build tools and lessons that support all learners.

Our research highlights several key themes about teaching and learning Math at the PK-2 level

Students are beginning to understand the concept of number.

Early number knowledge and math skills are fostered by children’s Home Learning Environment.

  • Language Skills, supported through access to books and reading to children, are an important component of early math learning and predict numeracy outcomes.

Children move from reciting the count sequence (1,2,3,4...) without conceptual understanding, to understanding what this order means, and eventually developing Cardinality—an understanding of how many items are in a set.

  • Both formal math teaching and talk, such as practice Counting, as well as informal, math-related games and activities, such as measuring for baking, can support early math skills.

Students learn to flexibly represent and manipulate numbers.

Children’s ability to perform simple arithmetic Operations, including addition and subtraction of multiple numbers, is a foundational math skill and is predictive of later math success.

  • Manipulating real objects can help make these abstract concepts more concrete.

Flexibly representing numbers in different ways allows students to better understand them, how they relate to each other, and how to best work with them to solve problems.

  • These skills are supported by an understanding of the Place Value system for multi-digit numbers, including how numbers can be readily decomposed and re-combined.

Students make connections and persist through challenges.

Students must be persistent and work through the challenge of gaining a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics.

  • Students who find math relevant or fun are motivated to learn—an important mindset to develop early on that can support productive struggle.

Students rely on support from teachers and caregivers to model positive attitudes towards math, as they may pick up on math anxiety and internalize it themselves.

  • Providing feedback on the process of learning and students’ effort can also support a growth mindset, which allows students to view their progress positively.

The Research Behind This Model

To create each Learner Variability Project Learner Model, we follow a systematic methodology led by our expert researchers. The process is also overseen by an advisory board of leading content area and learning sciences experts.

Advisory Board for Math PK-2

These leading researchers supported the development of our Math PK-2 Model and are a source of continued suggestions for improvement.

David Geary, Ph.D.

Curators' Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri

Ximena Dominguez, Ph.D.

formerly Senior Research Scientist, Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International, and currently Director of Early STEM Research, Digital Promise

Bruce McCandliss, Ph.D.

Professor, Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Todd Rose, Ph.D.

Lecturer on Education and Director of the Mind, Brain, and Education Program, Harvard University, and co-founder of Populace
Math PK-2

Students are beginning to understand the concept of number.

Early number knowledge and math skills are fostered by children’s Home Learning Environment.

  • Language Skills, supported through access to books and reading to children, are an important component of early math learning and predict numeracy outcomes.

Children move from reciting the count sequence (1,2,3,4...) without conceptual understanding, to understanding what this order means, and eventually developing Cardinality—an understanding of how many items are in a set.

  • Both formal math teaching and talk, such as practice Counting, as well as informal, math-related games and activities, such as measuring for baking, can support early math skills.

Students learn to flexibly represent and manipulate numbers.

Children’s ability to perform simple arithmetic Operations, including addition and subtraction of multiple numbers, is a foundational math skill and is predictive of later math success.

  • Manipulating real objects can help make these abstract concepts more concrete.

Flexibly representing numbers in different ways allows students to better understand them, how they relate to each other, and how to best work with them to solve problems.

  • These skills are supported by an understanding of the Place Value system for multi-digit numbers, including how numbers can be readily decomposed and re-combined.

Students make connections and persist through challenges.

Students must be persistent and work through the challenge of gaining a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics.

  • Students who find math relevant or fun are motivated to learn—an important mindset to develop early on that can support productive struggle.

Students rely on support from teachers and caregivers to model positive attitudes towards math, as they may pick up on math anxiety and internalize it themselves.

  • Providing feedback on the process of learning and students’ effort can also support a growth mindset, which allows students to view their progress positively.

Next:

Students learn to flexibly represent and manipulate numbers.

View Theme 2

Next:

Students make connections and persist through challenges.

View Theme 3

Next:

Students are beginning to understand the concept of number.

View Theme 1