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ERIC Number: EJ1020114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Helping Young Children See Math in Play
Parks, Amy Noelle; Blom, Diana Chang
Teaching Children Mathematics, v20 n5 p310-317 Dec 2013
The purpose of this article is to provide strategies for recognizing meaningful mathematics in common play contexts in early childhood classrooms and to offer suggestions for how teachers might intervene in these moments to help children attend to the mathematical ideas embedded in their play. In particular, the author's focus on the concepts of composing and decomposing, which are fundamental concepts in early mathematics and essential to the understanding of big ideas in both number and geometry. Through a yearlong study of a rural public preschool in Georgia, the author's found three common play contexts to be particularly rich sites for children's exploration of composing and decomposing: the block area, the puzzle table, and the doll corner. This article describes the mathematics embedded in each of these contexts with the goal of helping early childhood teachers to recognize and highlight similar mathematics in play.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A