Dr. Greg Duncan at the University of California in Irvine states that “Mastery of early math skills predicts not only future math achievement, it also predicts future reading achievement, and it does so just as reliably as early literacy mastery of vocabulary, letters and phonetics predicts later reading success.” (Early Academic Skills, Not Behavior, Best Predict School Success, Wendy Leopold, Science Daily, November 19, 2007) In addition, “Mounting evidence suggest that the mathematical understandings children develop before entering elementary school are highly predictive of later academic achievement, not just in mathematics, but in other subjects as well. Moreover, children who begin school with poor math skills typically do not catch up. Those least prepared are disproportionately underrepresented minorities and from low-income families. (Math Matters: Children’s Mathematical Journeys Start Early, Executive Summary, Schoenfeld and Stipek, November 2011)
We know from the research published by Karen Fuson that there is a definite progression in children’s acquisition and elaboration of the number word sequence and of counting. The AIMS Center for Math and Science Education has partnered with the Fresno EOC Head Start Program to work directly with teachers and the 3-5-year-old children enrolled in their programs to construct a clear understanding of the various stages in that progression and of the children’s constructions at each stage. We will continue to build our video library of exemplars which will be used to share these findings with classroom teachers.
In addition, during the 2016-17 school year, we will reenact some of the subitizing and figural pattern work of Clements and Sarama and of Beth MacDonald. Following this next year’s work, we will begin to design tasks and formative assessments that will provide a way for teachers to facilitate children’s acquisition and elaboration of the number word sequence and early counting, along with subitizing.