Beginning in April, the Mazzocco Math and Numeracy Lab will be launching two studies focusing on children’s emerging math skills. Long before children are able to count objects and perform addition and subtraction, they are developing math and numeracy skills. For example, babies learn the foundations for the concept of one-to-one correspondence when they discover that they can only hold two objects at time, because they only have two hands.
The first study focuses on children developing a number sense when numbers and quantity words are presented in pictures and stories. The sessions conducted at the Lab School are part of a larger study that looks at children affected with Turner Syndrome and children at risk for developing mathematical learning difficulties or disabilities.
The second study also uses stories and shared reading to learn more about the development of early math concepts. In this study, researchers read a storybook to a small group of children and ask questions to determine if the layout of the book affects how children are able to focus on and comprehend the number of objects on a certain page.
Though these two studies focus on early math skills, integrating literacy and early reading concepts is beneficial for early childhood education, including what we do at the Lab School. Finding and supporting links between these two foundational academic skills will further the philosophy of integrating pre-academic learning and development into a variety of contexts.
By Pam Miller