"Early math is surprisingly important. What kids know in their preschool or entering kindergarten year about mathematics predicts their later school success. In mathematics, sure, that makes sense, but it even predicts later reading success, as well as early literacy skills."
--Douglas Clements, PhD, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and Professor, University of Denver
When talking about improving kindergarten readiness in Washington, people frequently highlight math skills, because they show the greatest deficits in
. Overall, only 66% of students arrive at kindergarten with expected skills in math. When the results are disaggregated, children in low-income families and children of color are disproportionately behind even more in math than other areas.
We share the desire of the Department of Early Learning, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and local education agencies to improve early math skills. Like early literacy, critical foundations for success in math are laid at home, based on the parent-child relationship in the first few years of life. At the same time, all aspects of children's early development are multi-faceted and inter-related. Therefore, even very young children are learning skills across all domains at the same time, including social-emotional, language, literacy, and math. Significantly improving outcomes in one area of learning requires intentionality, but it also entails recognition of the connections between developmental domains.
Early math concepts are readily available in many children's books, and adults can demonstrate math concepts in children's books when reading and telling stories about the pictures. Intentionally integrating math content into the Reach Out and Read program is a natural extension of supporting parents as their child's first teacher through a language-rich home environment filled with children's books. We are very excited to share that we have embarked on an innovative pathway to develop and test this concept through our Reach Out and Read network in Washington. Please read on to learn more!
We hope you find time for family and some good books this summer!