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Teaching math in Kindergarten with Number Corner

Blog Type:  STEM Preschool
Date Posted:  Friday, December 20, 2019

In Kindergarten, one of the ways students learn math is by using Number Corner, a skill-building program that revolves around the classroom calendar. Each day, students spend 15 to 20 minutes of instruction on Number Corner activities.

Number Corner was fully rolled out in Kindergarten this year, after a pilot conducted in one of the classes last year. Currently, this approach is implemented from Kindergarten to grade 2 at EB, followed by Eureka Math in grades 3, 4 and 5. 

Number Corner introduces students to the American math standards, completing the French math standards that are taught in parallel. “We found that introducing the American math standards starting in Kindergarten, first and second grade led to better results in math achievement among students in grades 3 and above and also allows students to learn important math vocabulary in English even when most of their math instruction is in French,'' says Curriculum Coordinator Maggie Schoon. 

At EB, Number Corner is taught in two languages. Four days out of the week, this activity is led in French, and in English once a week. Number Corner features short daily “math workouts” that introduce, reinforce, and extend skills and concepts related to the critical areas of study at each grade level. New pieces are added to the display each day, providing starting points for discussions, problem solving, and short written exercises.

In Kindergarten, Number Corner activities revolve around: 

Calendar Grid

Patterns that introduce and reinforce a variety of key number and geometry skills. 

Calendar Collector

Collections that promote deep understandings of estimation and counting, place value, measurement, and data.

Computational Fluency

Activities, games, and practice pages designed to develop and maintain computational fluency.

Number Line

Number line activities that promote counting skills and number sense. For instance, a teacher will hide a number on the number line and have students guess it.

Days in School

Activities and routines that capitalize on the number of days students have been in school.

These five components of the lesson can be seen in this video of a Number Corner lesson in one of EB’s Kindergarten classrooms.

What do students do during a Number Corner session?

Kindergartners add a new marker to the Calendar Grid for each day of the month and identify patterns that emerge in the markers over time. Each month also features a collection of some kind—cubes, sticks, shapes, coins, or data—that serves as a springboard for representing and analyzing data, practicing counting and computation, and solving problems. Students keep track of the number of days they have been in school, which gives them the chance to explore teen numbers and then all numbers to 100 and beyond.

Many days also feature an activity or game for strengthening students’ counting skills and computational fluency. These games and activities often incorporate visual models like five-frames, ten-frames, finger patterns to 10, linking cubes, and the number line. Parents can learn more about what their child learn is the yearly content outline for Number Corner. 

The activities and games in Number Corner Kindergarten give students ongoing practice with key skills and concepts, including: counting, reading and writing numerals to 20, comparing sets and numbers, modeling and solving addition and subtraction problems, identifying, describing, and comparing shapes in the environment.

“Number Corner is in line with our Singapore Math approach where mathematical concepts are first presented in a concrete manner, like a physical object, and then we go to pictorial, where the object is drawn, to then abstract, and that’s true for any grade level, not just Kindergarten,” says Maggie Schoon. EB’s math program uses many elements of the Singapore math approach while teaching the skills and competencies of the French and American content standards. 

Number Corner is not the only way Kindergartners learn math as students study it in French as other moments during the day by using hands-on activities and math games, in small groups, or in individual differentiated activities.