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More math and science in preschool, please

By John Published: January 29, 2010

 The National Institute for Early Education Research wants to see more math and science taught in preschool.

Let's face it: Math and science are about more than counting and recognizing shapes, even for 3- and 4-year-olds! The pre-K crowd is curious about exploring everyday math and science and comes to preschool armed with basic concepts. Young children create patterns with different colored materials and build towers with blocks, noting that one tower is taller than the other. They question where puppies come from and observe that people have different color eyes and come up with explanations for the difference. These early explorations and engagement in associated thinking processes serve as foundations for learning as children continue toward more formal understandings.

Yet opportunities for young children to learn math are often limited to memorizing the number words in sequence up to 20 and counting objects. Some teachers also encourage children to identify patterns or basic shapes in the environment, such as squares and circles. Similarly, opportunities to explore science concepts are provided occasionally but are rarely available on a daily basis or integrated into daily activities.

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