Here’s yet another interesting educational piece in the news: Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article about how Chicago preschool and kindergarten teachers are integrating math concepts into daily classroom activities, giving young students firmer footing when they learn more complex math concepts in later grades. The teachers are being trained by The Erikson Institute, a graduate school in child development which was co-founded by Barbara Bowman, mother of White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Erikson’s Early Mathematics Education Project grew out of the school’s findings that only 21 percent of Chicago early education teachers regularly taught math to their students, while 96 percent regularly taught language arts. This program trains teachers to focus on teaching mathematical thinking, rather than basic math procedures, and to make math an integral part of the children’s school day. As of the program’s professors explains, learning mathematical thinking at this young age helps students develop skills in reasoning and logic which prepare them to become not only better math students, but more focused students in any subject.
How much math do your preschool and kindergarten children get in their day? Ask your schools if you don’t know.