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Teaching Basic Addition to Nursery Kids
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Ever wondered you can teach a child without introducing an addition(+) symbol at a class level of Nursery ?. Don't you want your child get learning about addition skill from Nursery itself ?. Have you thought about an effective way to introduce this essential skill at a young age ?.

Helping your child learn addition well is important as it's a basic tool which forms one of the strong pillars for further mathematical skills. A variety of techniques and tools are used by schools to help kids learn it well, but you as a parent could help expedite the learning. The observation so far I have on how schools teach addition is they teach numbers, counting, introduce addition symbol, use lines to strike and sum it up. Though kids learn it, still they can't apply their skills as much as they could. Firstly, we need to ask a question - why are we learning or teaching addition ?. It's to help us in our day to day lives like the milkman delivers a liter of milk in morning and evening, so how many liters of milk does he deliver daily ?. This article will talk about a few techniques which you can use at home to improve the addition skills of your child without ever introducing the symbol and when the child is taught this at school, he/she will be very comfortable and understand it deeply.

Step-by-Step guide:

All the sections below described should be done at your child's learning pace.

Counting and dealing with physical objects -

  • Start your child with counting first. It's important to know counting before you start on addition.
  • Start your child with things they can see and feel like chocolates, chalk-pieces, clothes, soaps etc.
  • Ask your child to count number of chocolates they have, number of toys they have.
Incrementing -

Now, in the above step your child has learnt counting and has a sense of number of objects. Now, we will see incrementing i.e. addition of 1.

Now, ask your child how many chocolates does he/she wants ?. And then ask your child if you give him/her 1 chocolate more - how many chocolates will he/she have ?.

Repeat the above exercise for a few more objects. So, far your child has learnt how to increment i.e. addition of 1 to any given count. That's a very good first step.

Incrementing by 2 -

In the previous section, we learnt how to increment by 1, now repeat the same exercise by asking your child that if you give 2 more chocolates, how many chocolates will they have.

So far, in all the above exercises you need to have physical objects with you so they can count and tell you.

Grouping -

By now, your child has learnt how to increment things by 1 or 2 i.e. given physical objects, they can count.

Now, a very important concept of grouping things should be introduced i.e. place two chocolates in a box and another two in another box. Now, ask your child to count total number of chocolates.

This is an important concept which they need to understand well that there are different groups.

Comparing -

Now, after grouping - they should understand how to compare two groups.

For e.g. - Put 4 things in a box and 2 things in another. Ask which one has more number of things.

Identifying a bigger group.

Combining -

An important step right now is combining two groups of objects.

Take 3 boxes - 1 box containing 2 chocolates, 1 box containing 2 chocolates and last box empty.

Ask your child to empty the boxes into the empty box while counting.

Advanced combining -

Now, your child has learnt how to combine groups.

Let's use a better technique.

Take 2 boxes - 1 box containing 3 chocolates and another box containing 1 chocolate.

Ask your child to identify a box containing more chocolates and ask the smaller box to be emptied into the bigger box while counting.

By the end of this step, you may or may not have realized that your child already knows how to add things without a formal introduction of addition symbol and numbers written on the paper. This exercise helps them create a better mental model of addition and at the same time help them see practical applications of addition well before they get this introduced in the school via textbooks.

Hope you find this thread interesting and helpful.
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