Preschool Learning Guidelines for Math

Overview of the Preschool Learning Guidelines for Math

Mathematics relates to ideas and concepts about quantity and addresses logical and spatial relationships. At the preschool level, the foundations of mathematical understanding are formed out of children's concrete experiences. Mathematical experiences should not be limited to "math time." They can be embedded in almost all daily classroom activities, challenging teachers to be alert to opportunities for facilitating mathematical understanding. Mathematical thinking can be incorporated into block play, dramatic play, sand and water play, and outdoor play. Children can also make connections between mathematics and musical experiences or art when they explore rhythmic or visual patterns or symmetry.

Preschool children can learn to recite numbers in order, compare quantity, comprehend position, and match objects in one-to-one correspondence. Number concepts become significant to children when they develop out of experiences that are functional in their world. Preschool activities can build their understanding of number concepts, and also build foundations for understanding characteristics and properties of two- and three dimensional geometric shapes.

-Above statement from the Massachusetts Preschool Learning Experiences Document

Learning Guidelines for Mathematics

Preschool Standard
Links to K Standards
Number Sense
1. Listen to and say the names of numbers in meaningful contexts. Link to K.N.1
2. Connect many kinds/quantities of concrete objects and actions to
Link to K.N.2
3. Use positional language and ordinal numbers (first, second, third)
in everyday activities.
Link to K.N.3
4. Use concrete objects to solve simple addition and subtraction
problems using comparative language (more than, fewer than, same
number of).
Link to K.N.4; K.N.7
5. Observe and manipulate concrete examples of whole and half. Link to K.N.5
6. Examine, manipulate, and identify familiar U.S. coins (penny,
nickel, dime, quarter) in play activities.
Link to K.N.6
Patterns and Relations
7. Explore and describe a wide variety of concrete objects by their
Link to K.P.1
8. Sort, categorize, or classify objects by more than one attribute. Link to K.P.2
9. Recognize, describe, reproduce, extend, create, and compare
repeating patterns of concrete materials.
Link to K.P.3
Shapes and Spatial Sense
10. Investigate and identify materials of various shapes, using appropriate language. Link to K.G.1, K.G.2
11. Explore and identify space, direction, movement, relative position,
and size using body movement and concrete objects.
Link to K.G.4
12. Listen to and use comparative words to describe the relationships
of objects to one another.
Link to K.M.1
13. Use estimation in meaningful ways and follow up by verifying the accuracy of estimations. Link to K.M.2
14. Use nonstandard units to measure length, weight, and amount of
content in familiar objects.
Link to K.M.3
Data Collection and Analysis
15. Organize and draw conclusions from facts they have collected. Link to K.D.1


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Citation: Stone-McDonald, A., Douglass, A., Love, M., Harding, L. (2011, March 02). Preschool Learning Guidelines for Math. Retrieved November 06, 2014, from UMass Boston OpenCourseware Web site:
Copyright 2014, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License