I love, love this article. So many parents focus on drill work and not comprehension. Drill work is fine in middle and high school; however younger kids learn best from hands on experience.
Comprehension comes with natural play in which letters and number concepts are utilized. Letters and numbers are abstract. Kids under the age of four years are concrete thinkers. They learn in concrete ways. They need to experience and handle manipulative to learn.
This also applies to children who are developmentally thinking as three and four-year olds even if they are ten years of age.
As this article indicates “Yes, you can drill a young child to memorize numbers, just as you can letters, but that isn’t the same as comprehending what they mean.”
So many of my kids come to school with their brains full of memorization. Their parents do not understand memorization does not necessarily mean understanding. The article also states “…there is no correlation between learning these things (memorized letters and numbers) early and future academic attainment.”
One of my favorite games is “Shoes On“
- I use stairs and put the numbers one through six on the different steps (six students present that day)
- I have all the kids take off their shoes and put them at the end of the room
- The kids race to the shoes and put them on
- The kids run back. (help sort as needed)
- The first kid back stands on the number 1 (help as needed to find the number 1)
- The second kid back stands on the number 2.
- And so forth
- Now review
Who was back first? Tim–He is on number one, he was first
Who was back Next (not second but next) John!
John is on number two (point, help, emphasis, have fun); he was second
Rebecca was Next, she is one number three (continue)
- Now review