This unit focuses on several different skills and concepts including combining, counting, and creating patterns. Although the skills and concepts have a different focus, all can be used in conjunction with one another. This idea will encourage deeper understanding of how parts works together.
Prior to this unit, students focused on identifying measurable attributes of objects, including length, capacity, and weight. Students explored two-dimensional figures, including circles, triangles, rectangles, and squares. They extended their knowledge of counting and comparing numbers using graphing situations where numbers represent categorical data. Students recognized and created patterns using a variety of materials.
During this unit, students extend the use of counting concepts and mathematical relationships to develop the foundation of operations. Students use concrete objects, pictorial models, and acting out a situation to model and represent joining problems. Students use these representations to solve contextual addition problems involving sums up to 5 objects. Students develop an understanding of numbers 0 – 9, cardinality, conservation of set, comparing numbers and sets of objects, hierarchical inclusion, and conservation of set.
After this unit, students continue to build upon counting numbers 0 – 9. Additionally, this unit focuses on several different skills and concepts including combining, separating, adding, subtracting, counting, creating shapes, measurement, and patterning. Although the skills and concepts have a different focus, all can be used in conjunction with one another. This idea will encourage deeper understanding of how parts works together.
According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2011), “Situations that can be represented by addition and subtraction can be considered as basic applications of counting forward or backward” (p. 11). For the operations to be meaningful, basic number skills and concepts need to be in place. Therefore, counting concepts and mathematical relationships become the basis for the operations. Van de Walle (2004) states, “Most, if not all, important mathematics concepts and procedures can best be taught through problem solving” (p. 36). He also states, “Problem solving places the focus of the students’ attention on ideas and sense building. When solving problems, students are necessarily reflecting on the ideas that are inherent in the problems. Developing ideas are more likely to be integrated with existing ones, thereby improving understanding.” (p. 37)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2010). Developing essential understanding of number and numeration pre-k – grade 2. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Inc.