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Building Blocks Overview

January 3, 2022

Mathematical Thinking

Math is a language for talking about numbers, measurement, patterns, shapes, comparing and sorting objects, and data. Children use this language as they experience math daily in formal and informal experiences. The math component of SEE Every Child is based upon the Building Blocks Pre-K (Clements & Sarama, 2013) curriculum, with a particular emphasis on embracing mathematics as a language through which children can better understand and discuss their daily lives. Children will learn basic math skills aligning with the standards set by the EEC:

  • Numbers and operations
  • Geometry
  • Measurement
  • Patterns and algebra
  • Data analysis and classification.

These skills are practiced and expanded upon through a variety of math experiences including exploration of manipulative materials, group activities emphasizing mathematical thinking, and incorporation of math concepts into Big Ideas and Projects. Math skills are also promoted through the following practices (the Building Blocks pacing guide contains more information about each):

  • Whole Group math instruction can include explicit presentation of math materials and concepts, routines, calendar, songs, movement and games. Whole Group lessons build as the week progresses, repeating particular activities based on children’s experiences, and building complexity.
  • Small Group times targeted learning for each child according to individual development. Small Groups occur while other children are engaged in Hands On self-directed math activities (see below) or during Choice Time. 
  • Hands On are activities that children can do independently or with minimal support from an adult, in order to deepen their mathematical understandings. 
  • Math Throughout the Year are recommended routines that build on the mathematical skills highlighted each week. These routines appear throughout the year, are repeated to reinforce concepts, and can be done during transitions, as warm ups during Whole Group time, Small Group, and adapted for Hands On. 
  • Key Reflection Questions appear throughout each week and support children’s reflections on mathematical content. Strategic Key Questions have been chosen to align with the concepts and content for each week. When children talk in their own words about what they did during an activity they develop mathematical reasoning and skills such as turn taking, listening, and speaking.

In addition to Building Blocks we draw upon the work of the Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative as well as our own “Math Vitamins” that we send out a few times a month. 

In addition, here are some important nationally recognized early math resources.

  • About Teaching Mathematics:  A K-8 Resource by Marilyn Burns
  • A Collection of Math Lessons: From Grades 1-3 by Marilyn Burns
    (both these books have nice modifications for preschool)
  • Developing Math Concepts in Pre-Kindergarten by Kathy Richardson
  • The Young Child and Mathematics by Kathy Richardson
  • Math Their Way by Mary Barrata-Lorton
  • The Math Their Way Summary Newsletter


Year-Long Trajectory

The Year-Long Trajectory is your scope and sequence for learning experiences across the year.

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