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Author Topic: Article: Kindergarten Performance/Math Linked to Later Academic Success  (Read 6588 times)
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TeachingMyToddlers
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« on: December 24, 2011, 06:09:27 PM »

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/23/kindergarten-math-skills-key-to-later-success-rese/?page=1#article

Great article!

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Proud Momma to DD 11/28/08 & DS 12/29/09, exactly 1 year, 1 month, and 1 day apart in age. Check out my youtube channel for BrillKids Discounts and to see my early learners in action! smile www.youtube.com/teachingmytoddlers
queriquita
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2011, 04:16:49 PM »

thanks for sharing.  it frustrates me when i hear comments that children aren't ready.  the sad truth is that it is the adults who surround them that aren't ready.  sadly enough, our system is not yet as supportive as it needs to be for us to provide our children with the skills to help them unlock their maximum potential. i'm hoping that the case will be much different when my grandchildren come along.  until then, i'm glad that i'm giving my little ones what their brains so badly want to learn now when it's so much easier for them.

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fma001
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2011, 05:59:15 PM »

What exactly is stressful about beginning math? Are the critics assuming that kids will be stressed by it or do they have solid data to back up their claims? If kids are being stressed, it must be due to improper teaching or bad curricula.

I would assume that kids who are better at math later on or doing well academically in general experience far less stress than struggling kids. Even if there is a little stress for children learning academics at an early age (which there shouldn't be), isn't this better than the stress of struggling at school for years or struggling in low paying jobs? By protecting kids too much in the early years, these critics harm them in the long run.

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PokerDad
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 05:39:15 PM »

I really enjoyed the article. Reading seems to be the biggest priority for parents, and rightfully so, but finding out that math is the skill most correlated with academic success later on does sort of fly in the face of those of us even around here that are into early learning. Math seems to be the step child (loved, but maybe not as much).

I'm surprised that math is the best predictor, but it does make sense if you stop and think about it. Understanding math is a thinking skill where you have to be able to relate things to each other, and that seems the most like learning. When you learn, you relate new content to existing schema. Obviously it's not exactly the same, but math is just so "how to think" oriented. People lousy at math seem (to me at least) to also be lousy thinkers (cannot use reasoning very well perhaps because it's so abstract)

In that sense, I fear innumeracy more than illiteracy because the first is tolerated while the second is not and will not be tolerated (by my spouse, by my child's school, etc).

Did you see the comment below the article? The former high school math teacher said that most high school students were around a 4th grade math level!!!! Wow.

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fma001
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 03:23:37 PM »

Pokerdad,

I think you are right about abstract thinking. Much of what kids are required to learn at school is quite abstract, so it shouldn't be surprising that kids who are good at math are good at other things. The same has been found for learning a musical instrument. The skills transfer into other areas. I think in the early years though, a focus on literacy probably has a bigger payoff for most kids. Babies and toddlers can learn to read and build up a significant amount of knowledge. Early reading gets kids ahead. The same doesn't seem to be true of math. Early exposure to math seems to make later learning easier but it doesn't seem to get most kids ahead (unless they already have an aptitude for it). My 6 year old reads at about a 6th grade level but she does 1st grade math despite all my early focus on math. She is a 1st grader but math is her only 1st grade subject. She's ahead in everything else.

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