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A student's Home Learning Environment is the environment parents and caregivers provide to help learners gain early academic skills. Children can develop math skills before starting school through both direct math teaching and talk with caregivers, as well as indirectly through playing math-related games. This early exposure to language and numeracy can lead to greater arithmetic fluency in school. Providing extra classroom supports and resources for families that strengthen the Home Learning Environment can help create an equal foundation for all students.
The Home Learning Environment is critical for growth in early math skills before a child enters kindergarten. The Home Learning Environment involves many aspects of math:
The Home Learning Environment is also related to the Home Literacy Environment, as the quality of the Home Literacy Environment also impacts early math acquisition.
Building with blocks is ideal for promoting early geometric and Spatial Skills.
As students solve problems in a group, they learn new strategies and practice communicating their mathematical thinking.
CRA is a sequential instructional approach during which students move from working with concrete materials to creating representational drawings to using abstract symbols.
In explicit number naming, the structure of the number name labels the number in Place Value order and clearly states the quantity.
Thinking of and about patterns encourages learners to look for and understand the rules and relationships that are critical components of mathematical reasoning.
Dot cards build number sense and promote early math skills, particularly Spatial Skills and Non-symbolic Number knowledge.
Free choice supports learner interests and promotes the development of more complex social interactions.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
In guided inquiry, teachers help students use their own language for constructing knowledge by active listening and questioning.
Teaching students through guided play encourages them to take an active role in their learning and supports the development of a broad array of cognitive skills.
Imagining allows students to step back from a problem or task and think about it from multiple angles.
Math centers with math games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex math skills and social interactions.
Math games use numbers and Spatial Skills, allowing students to practice many math skills in a fun, applied context.
Rhyming, alliteration, and other sound devices reinforce math skills development by activating the mental processes that promote memory.
When students have meaningful conversations about math and use math vocabulary, they develop the thinking, questioning, and explanation skills needed to master mathematical concepts.
By talking through their thinking at each step of a process, teachers can model what learning looks like.
Teachers sharing math-to-self, math-to-math, and math-to-world connections models this schema building.
Providing physical representations of numbers and math concepts helps activate mental processes.
Easy access to seeing the relationships between numbers promotes number sense as students see these connections repeatedly.
Connecting information to music and dance moves enhances Short-term and Long-term Memory by drawing on auditory processes and the cognitive benefits of physical activity.
A parent evening meeting about how to support numeracy at home with one follow-up meeting with each family has shown strong results for students' math development.
When teachers connect math to the students' world, students see how math is relevant and applicable to their daily lives.
Students deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning when they explain to and receive feedback from others.
Math games and manipulatives for vision differences support math development for learners with visual needs.
Children's literature can be a welcoming way to help students learn math vocabulary and concepts.
Multicultural resources, such as posters with different types of people and word problems based in different settings, allow all students to see themselves in their math work.
Providing students a voice in their learning is critical for making learning meaningful.
Students develop their skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.
A word wall helps build the mathematical vocabulary and Language Skills that are necessary for problem solving.
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