Fun with Numbers
In April of 2009, Joanne Lee (Department of Psychology) and Donna Kotsopoulos will be launching Fun with Numbers, a free community-based outreach program offered weekly at the main Waterloo Public Library Branch(www.wpl.ca) for the development of early numeracy in infants and toddlers (ages 12 to 28 months). Our own research has shown that many parents during play-time with their children do not engage in number play, or mathematical talk, that may support mathematical learning and achievement. Yet, studies suggest the amount of “mathematical talk” children receive in the daily lives during the early years is important and has been shown to influence a child’s acquisition of mathematical concepts and mathematical achievement. Other research has shown that parents have been found more often to focus on literacy development and neglect the development of mathematical concepts with infants and toddlers – seeing mathematics learning as something that occurs when school begins. This program will support infants and toddlers in preparing them for schooling - much the same way that early literacy programs have been shown to be effective in preparing children for schooling and in subsequent achievement. To date, no such early numeracy programs exist for babies and toddlers. For more information see www.wlu.ca/childlab.