Mathematics at nursery school: preparation for growth

Does it make sense to “do math” from 3 to 5 years?

It seems that talking about the acquisition of logical and mathematical concepts by young pupils is too demanding and difficult. Usually, it is thought that in the age group from 3 to 5 years one should “only” play, but doing math does not mean not playing! The game hides logical concepts and, on the contrary, math in action becomes play and fun.

The “Padre Antonio Loreti” kindergarten run by the Institute of the Deaf of Turin welcomes hearing and deaf children alike and tries to provide the best possible education with qualified and bilingual staff (Italian – Italian Sign Language).

In October 2020, the news of the approval of the Erasmus + recreaMaths project started a weekly mathematics workshop: 30 children were involved, between three and five years old.

The workshop began with programming by professionals: hearing and deaf teachers and educators who set up a path of introduction to mathematics and logic concepts suitable for the group, in an attempt to involve as many children as possible despite the heterogeneity of age, knowledge and needs.

Within the school of the Institute, there are teachers trained for the inclusion of all students, with any disability, in particular children with deafness or communication difficulties, given the mission of the Institute for the Deaf: the school can boast bilingual teaching in Italian and in Italian Sign Language, and an excellent collaboration with the speech therapy sector of the audiologopedic centre which is based within the Institute.

The goal of kindergarten is to prepare children for elementary school: the concepts of logic and mathematics in particular help reasoning throughout our life. For this reason, the opportunity provided by the project was evaluated as being of great value. During the workshop, mathematics was presented in the form of a game, combining learning with fun with a fairy tale. Thanks to the fairy tale of Hermes published by Erickson and read with children, the “fear” of mathematics was faced: overcoming the antipathy towards some mathematical concepts, not having prejudices towards them and facing difficulties from an early age, allows you to avoid future failures and failures.

Subsequently, again in the form of a game, the concepts of size, order, movement (useful in particular for introducing addition and subtraction), geometric shapes, the first numbers were dealt with …

Games, drawings, fairy tales, songs (also translated in Sign Language), the use of practical materials, colours … all the funniest means were used throughout the school year 2020/2021 and the laboratory is still active in view of the ebooks that will be produced during the recreaMaths project.

Here the link of the presentation of the kindergarten school “Padre Antonio Loreti” in Italian Sign Language and Italian à