Early Childhood Corner: The Earliest Geometry

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  • 1 University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260

In keeping with the early childhood chapter of Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, this department examines activities and children's thinking in geometry and, in the next issue, number. From prekindergarten to grade 12, the Geometry Standard addresses four main areas: properties of shapes, location and spatial relationships, transformations and symmetry, and visualization. For each area, we quote the goal of the Standard and the associated early-childhood expectations. We then present snippets of research and sample activities to develop ideas within each area with students.


This section addresses the early childhood teacher's need to support young children's emerging mathematics understandings and skills in a context that conforms with current knowledge about the way that children in prekindergarten and kindergarten learn mathematics. Readers are encouraged to send manuscripts for this section to “Early Childhood Corner,” NCTM, 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-9988.

This article is based on work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant no. ESI-9730804, Building Blocks–Foundations for Mathematical Thinking, Pre- Kindergarten to Grade 2: Research-Based Materials Development, and grant no. REC-9903409, Technology-Enhanced Learning of Geometry in Elementary Schools. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Teaching Children Mathematics


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