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News in Youth Services

Monday, June 13, 2016

Ready For Kindergarten: Math

Hello! Welcome back to another Ready for Kindergarten post! This week we will be tackling MATH. You'll be surprised at how easy and painless it is to incorporate math into your daily routine.

When your child gets to kindergarten, these are the math skills they are expected to have conquered:
  • Identify basic shapes
  • Name numbers 1-10
  • Demonstrate 1:1 correspondence for numbers 1-10
  • Sorts objects by color, shape, size
  • Recognize simple patterns and can duplicate them

Identify basic shapes is pretty simple. If your kiddo can properly name all the shapes above, then you are good to go. Just a small tip: in mathematical terms that's a rhombus, not a diamond. If these shapes baffle you, we have a few books here that can help. I like this one and this one, but we have plenty!  You can also cut shapes out of colorful paper and label them together. Or stop by the Youth Services department and use our bucket of magnetic shapes to create a picture.

Name numbers 1-10: sure your kid can count to 10, but if you show them 4, do they know that is four? Again, there are plenty of number books in the library (a whole section, in fact) or you can make a game out of finding numbers when you are running errands.

If you hand your child a bunch of pennies, can they count them? If so, they are demonstrating 1:1 correspondence. It's a skill that takes a little practice, but think of all the stuff you can count around the house! Take it one step further by writing down the number and have them bring you that amount of items.

Sorting is a skill that is built on the back of gained knowledge. A child can group things into a pleasing arrangement, but will need to understand the concepts of color, size and shape before they can group things into those categories. This is an excellent game to do while waiting--at a restaurant, at the doctors office, anywhere there is built-in waiting is a good time to practice sorting. And what can you sort? EVERYTHING! You can sort pocket change, small toys, crayons, flash cards, pencil erasers, family members...everything!

Spend enough time sorting, and soon enough your child will be making patterns. The ability to recognize and recreate simple patterns is built in to being humans. It's part of the reason that kids like routine--it makes things predictable. You can work on patterns by creating ones for your child to recreate. Start simple with an AB pattern (the top row is an AB pattern) and then gradually work up to other pattern types. Once they get the hang of patterns, they can create patterns for you to copy. Don't be surprised when they start pointing out patterns all around them!

Tune in next time, when we will cover social skills!

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