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.
Prior to this unit, students counted a variety of objects to develop the understanding that all objects can be counted. They used one-to-one correspondence to ensure each object was counted and created patterns.
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 and separating problems. Students use these representations to solve contextual addition and subtraction problems involving sums and minuends up to 5. Students will develop an understanding of numbers 0–9, cardinality, subitizing, conservation of set, comparing numbers and sets of objects; hierarchical inclusion, meaning each prior number in the counting sequence is included in the set as the set increases. Students also focus on identifying measurable attributes of objects, including length. Through repeated direct comparison opportunities, students develop an understanding of conservation (lengths of objects and heights of people). In addition, students will explore two-dimensional figures, including circles, triangles, rectangles, and squares. Students use attributes to discern different shapes from one another, understanding that whereas orientation, color, texture, and size are not defining attributes of shapes. Informal and formal language is used interchangeably as students identify the attributes of two-dimensional shapes.
After this unit, students extend the use of counting concepts and mathematical relationships to develop the foundation of operations. Students will solve contextual addition and subtraction problems involving sums and minuends up to 5. Students will continue to develop an understanding of numbers 0 – 9, cardinality, subitizing, conservation of set, comparing numbers and sets of objects. Students will focus on identifying measurable attributes of objects, including length, height, weight, and capacity.
According to Copley (2010), “To lay the foundation for measurement, teachers involve young children in a lot of comparing. In fact, comparison is the core activity and concept that starts children on the path to fully developed understanding and use of measurement” (p. 125). The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2003) states, “Recognizing which attributes of physical objects are measurable is the starting point for studying measurement, and very young children begin their exploration of measurable attributes by looking at, touching, and comparing physical things directly” (p. 2).
Copley, J. (2010). The young child and mathematics. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2003). Navigating through measurement in pre-kindergarten – grade 2. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Inc.