One Writer’s Journey

November 19, 2010

Talking Numbers with Preschoolers

Who will have the best grasp of numbers and math?

I read an interesting press release today about an article, “What Counts in the Development of Young Children’s Number Knowledge?” in the current issue of Developmental Psychology, by University of Chicago psychologist Susan Levine and several other scholars.

In this article, Levine reports on the math skills exhibited by young children whose parents engage in “number talk” vs the skills of children whose parents do not.  Number talk doesn’t have to be a ho hum mathematical lecture.  It can be as simple as asking a child “Do you want two cookies?” vs “Do you want some cookies?”

In writing, we often discuss precision of language.  Most often we discuss this in terms of picking the write verb to create an exciting sentence packed with movement.

Just something to noodle over (One noodle, two noodles, three noodles) as we write for toddlers and preschoolers.  How might the specific words we use in our stories effect their understanding of abstracts like numbers?


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