• Iris Windsor

Number Awareness in Early Learning


The Importance of Strong Math and Number Skills Basic math and number concepts utilized in a preschool or kindergarten classroom sets the foundation for learning more advanced math concepts.

Early exposure to math and number activities will promote your child’s comfort with these skills.

Also, additional opportunities to practice these skills will increase your child’s confidence when working with math and number concepts and will lead him to believe he is “good at math.”

If your child does not become comfortable with math and number concepts at a young age, he will lack confidence in his abilities and may become hesitant as more advanced math concepts are introduced. When this happens, he may default to believing he is “bad at math” and he risks beginning a self-fulfilling cycle of failure.


The first 2 concepts required in number awareness are number identification and learning how to count


Numeral Identification The first step in Math and Number Awareness is learning what the 10 numerals (0 through 9) look like. This requires strong Visual Discrimination skills since many numerals (such as 6 and 9, or 1 and 7) look very similar. Once a child is able to recognise the 10 numerals and know each numerals name, he can develop an understanding of the amount each numeral represents. Children in the classroom may be asked to “Cut out five circles,” “Pick three friends,” or “Ask one question,” for example. Understanding the significance of numerals will directly contribute to a child’s success in the classroom.


Counting When first learning to count, a child counts by rote memorisation. This means he will likely be able to say the names of the numbers from 1 through 10 simply because he has memorized the order of the words, “one, two three ... ten.” However, he likely does not yet understand that 5 is 2 more than 3, for example.


Here we see that these little Dragonflies are not only recognising the numbers but also learning to count the numbers by adding clothes pegs to their number. Learning can be lots of fun!

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