Counting and Number Sense:
how do little kids start to learn math?

Hearing and Saying
Learning to say the numbers, counting to ten. This is the first step, an introduction to counting.  A pre-schooler learns to recite his numbers like a poem – one, two, three…

Learning to Count
Skipping while counting out loud, or just counting things, is the next step in number sense.  The math lessons on the Math Wiz computer tutor, use teachers' voices and pictures, just like hands-on math activities in the class-room.

Learning to read or write the number
First steps in school math are learning to read and write numbers. The starts in kinder and continues during early primary school. Here, the first steps are writing the digits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Later steps are learning about place-value: building up the bigger numbers, using tens and ones, and then hundreds and thousands. This is a very important step, and place-value skills are built up throughout primary school math.

Spelling the numbers
Learning how to write the words: one; two; three and so on, comes with phonic awareness – when the child is learning to connect the spoken word with print or writing on a page.

Quantity – the size of a number
We use numbers to measure quantity, and its important for young kids to understand that a number represents an amount – its not just a symbol and a word.
The “Groups” lessons should be repeated often, until the child quickly responds to seeing that a group of 6 is more than a group of 3, without having to count up the pictures. It becomes a pattern in the mind, given practice.

Counting and the Math Wiz program:
Children (and baby animals) learn by repetitious play. Encourage your child to use the activities as a game and to repeat the lessons often. Don't make them feel as if they are being tested or judged. The computer tutor picks automatically from a pool of questions, so your child will have fun with new pictures and challenges. Don't forget to praise and encourage your child, without putting on pressure.

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