If you know, love or teach children who struggle with their math facts and factors, playing math can help. Using motor movement as a platform on which we build cognitive skills is a meaningful beginning.

Teaching children sequencing skills through narration, visualization and play are a solid beginning. Listen in with Ginny of understood.org and see how you can change the trajectory of children’s math learning through planning, sequential processing, movement and musical rhythm. CLICK ON IMAGE TO PLAY VIDEO.

Why is math confusing for some children? A Few Key Points.

Mathematics is cognitive processing + language.

  • Currently beginning in Pre-K, we teach math by introducing symbology 1-100.
  • We may regard manipulatives and movement as “extras” not necessities because we do not understand how the brain uses visual, tactile, motor and auditory cues to learn.
  • We wish to use what the brain knows best, that is sensory processing, patterns, tempo, rhythm, and timing to enhance cognition and learning.
  • When we layer cognition on motor movement, children have a physical platform on which to scaffold cognition.
  • The brain relies on perceptual and sensory input for learning, we need to optimize neurobiology to enhance learning.
  • Math engages thinking skills, that require the use of imagery, imagination, and language.
  • When we teach numeracy concepts and executive function skills first, the children are ready to learn. They are prepared to think, strategize and rely on previously stored knowledge.
  • When we encourage the children to become “cognitive scientists” and be their brains “best helpers” they are motivated, engaged and feel confident.

Here are a few math resources for you.

Young Children’s Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction in Early Childhood Education

5 Ways Executive Functioning Issues Can Impact Math

Thinking Mathematically: Integrating Arithmetic & Algebra in Elementary School

Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers’ Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in China and the United States

The Grapes Of Math

Play Math Manual – (Digital Version) (printable pdf)

70 Play Activities for Better Thinking, Self-Regulation, Learning & Behavior

Musical Thinking – 5 Steps To Teaching Children How They Think – The Quick Start Manual (Digital Version) (printable pdf)