Education

Give your kiddo a start in math

Introducing children to the concept of counting early on is an important step in building their mathematical thinking skills. Credit: Too Small to Fail.

It’s never too early to help your baby be a math lover.

Seriously.

In this video from Too Small To Fail, are some great tips about how counting, sorting by size and the concept of “one more” help build your child’s math awareness.

Why is it also important to build a child’s math muscles?

Based on the Florida Standards Assessment test results for 2016, only 55 percent of Escambia County third-graders scored at grade level or higher in math.

Which means we as a community have some work to do.

Research indicates that nearly 85 percent of a child’s brain is developed by age 3 — and that words for parents and caregivers are the critical fuel for that growth and development.

The number of words a child hears in these important early years influences the language skills he or she develops. Research from the University of Chicago and elsewhere shows that the “achievement gap” — the 30 million fewer words that children from low-income families hear compared to their peers from better-off families — is linked to the struggles that children from low-income neighborhoods often have in school.

KINDERGARTEN READY 66 Dash_card2That’s why the Studer Community Institute made kindergarten readiness part of the Pensacola Metro Dashboard — a set of 16 metrics designed to gauge the economic,educational and social well-being of the community.

In Escambia County, only 66 percent of kindergarteners have the skills they need to be ready on the first day of school according to data analysis by the Florida Office of Early Learning.

That means about 1,000 of the children who start school each year, aren’t where they need to be to have the best chance to be successful.

The work of Dr. Dana Suskind and her team at the Thirty Million Words Initiative shows that parent education on the importance of talk to young children can take many forms.

It has inspired the efforts that SCI is promoting to help Pensacola become an Early Learning City, a place that enlists the whole community in building a culture of lifelong learning, including in its public spaces.

An Early Learning City is a community that support early brain development, parent engagement and school readiness for all of our children — and that includes math talk.