Kathy Richardson’s New Book (Review)
I’ve just finished reading Kathy Richardson’s new book (I wrote about it in my last post) and I have to say I love it! When I look at the current Common Core standards for Math, the idea of making my K students master addition and subtraction facts to five floors me! It is not a developmentally appropriate practice for 5 and 6 year old children to memorize math facts unless they have a definite handle on the number concepts and what Kathy calls the “critical learning phases”. Throughout the chapters, Kathy discusses the process that children go through to develop number concepts and what the critical phases are that must be learned before the next critical phase can happen. She shares that although we can make children memorize facts, it is completely useless to their future math development because children need to work through the critical learning phases on their own. If they cannot understand that 3 is three and 4 is four and demonstrate their understanding in several ways, then children will not be able to apply that to math operations later on. Kathy makes it clear that children must go through these phases and that children can not be forced into them, some children will understand them more quickly than others and progress through them more quickly than others, but we cannot as teachers force their understanding along.
This would be a great book for a PLC or book study to help understand how children learn and develop number concepts!