Data analysis and classification

Involves activities such as sorting and graphing and leads to children using information to answer questions.

What can families and caregivers do to develop these skills?

  • Families and caregivers can provide infants and toddlers (who can sort by one characteristic) opportunities to “clean up”, placing all of the cars in one bucket and all of the dinosaurs in another bucket.
  • Preschoolers can be asked to sort toys, clothes or shoes into two groups based upon a common attribute; they can organize grocery items into categories (cereal, dairy, meats, etc). Children can be assisted to make simple bar graphs indicating “how many” of a variety of objects they find in the house or on a walk or even while watching a tv program.
  • Families of children in the early elementary years can ask children questions about their graphic representations, including:
    • Which category has the most?
    • Which has the fewest?
    • Are any the same?
    • Is there any other way we can show this?
    • I wonder why it’s like this.

Geometry and spatial sense

Includes such skills  as understanding shapes, directions, locations and relations between them.

What can families and caregivers do to encourage the development of these skills?

  • Families and caregivers of infants and toddlers can help children notice characteristics of objects such as size, shape and color by using descriptive language as they talk and play with the children.
  • Families and caregivers can help by providing opportunities to complete puzzles and block structures, using geometric vocabulary (including two and three dimensional shapes) when describing the child’s environment,  and giving directions using basic prepositional words (in, on, under,up, down, over, top, bottom, in front of, and behind).
  • In the early elementary years, families should continue the above activities (adding prepositional words such as above, below, beside and next to).  Using two and three dimensional materials, encourage children to create unique objects by combining identified shapes and help them to identify shapes in their everyday environment.


Includes such skills as quantity comparison (more and less; -er, -est) and defining how much of something occurs (ways to measure length, weight,capacity, area and time).

What can families and caregivers do to develop these skills?

  • Measurement is not a topic that most infants and toddlers are ready to develop.
  • Families and caregivers can help support preschoolers in this area by using measurement vocabulary and talking aloud as you make measurements around the house.  Encourage children to use everyday objects (such as a piece of string or yarn, blocks, coffee cup or nesting blocks, rocks or stones) in order to “measure” length, volume, or weight. Engage children in simple cooking activities, allowing them to help measure. Use time concepts and words in daily life (yesterday, today, tonight.)
  • In order to support children in the early elementary years, families can do all of the above. In addition, families can offer children opportunities to sequence objects according to size (such as lining up plastic cups, spoons, leaves from a nature walk, people in your family), using appropriate vocabulary for comparisons (big, bigger, biggest). Talk with your children about upcoming and past events using time concepts. Help children associate a given time  with an activity or event (“It’s 6:00, it’s time for supper.”)

Number and operations

Includes skills such as one-to-one correspondence (which means pointing to objects and assigning a number as you count) and operational problem solving (which means combining and taking away from sets of real objects).

What can families and caregivers do to encourage the development of these skills?

  • Count with your infant and toddler throughout the day.  Perfect times for counting include snack and meal time (counting dishes, silverware, food items, napkins, etc); play time (counting toys); diapering and dressing times (counting fingers and toes, singing songs with numbers, counting clothing items in drawers).
  • Preschoolers can benefit from all of the above, plus: families and teachers can read counting books to them, practice counting one to one with them (for example, steps to climb, bounces of a ball, any common household items), encouraging children to tell stories about “how many”, or to give you one more or take one away from a group of items.
  • In the early elementary years, families can continue to count meaningful items (objects to 100), count coins (nickels and dimes) by their value, and look at and read together price tags from ads and items in stores.  Families can also help children invent “number stories” with a variety of manipulatives (like teddy bears, dinosaurs, small collections) in order to practice joining and separating sets. Finally, as children progress in school, families can allot time each day to practice basic number facts.

Patterns and algebra

Involves recognizing and understanding patterns in our everyday environment as well as within numbers.

What families and caregivers can do to develop these skills?

  • Families and caregivers can help infants and toddlers to recognize repeated units in songs (choruses) and predictable books (repeated language patterns). Point out patterns that are visually represented, such as stripes in shirts, colors of cars lined up, blocks, beads, etc.
  • Preschoolers can be helped to develop these skills by identifying patterns in clothing, tiles, books, behaviors. Once they have identified a pattern, ask them: “What comes next?” and “Why did you choose that?” Children are first ready to look at color patterns, then size and shape.
  • In the early elementary years, families can support the development of these skills by helping children learn to count to higher numbers by identifying repeating patterns, for example: “After twenty comes 21, 22, 23, etc up through 29. Then comes thirty and the pattern repeats.”


Parents’ Guide to Students’ Success:  A brief description of what your child will learn by the end of the school year and what you can do to help further this learning.

The use of board games is an important part of learning numeracy components and make learning concepts fun. Consider the language you will share. There are also board games to teach coding, Robot Turtles is designed for 3-8 year olds. Families may consider these games and apps:

  • Board Games:
    • Chutes and Ladders
    • Candy Land
    • Dominoes
    • Hi-Ho Cherry-O
    • Memory
    • Dice games
    • Go-Fish
    • Lotto/Bingo games
    • Old Maid
  • Computer Games:
  • Coding games such as Bee-Bot, you may use as an app or buy a bee-bot robot and use to code are increasingly popular for young learners. There are a variety of apps found on devices that can provide enjoyment for short periods of time for young children. Please use caution when selecting games and the amount of time your child is interacting on a device.