Thursday, May 23, 2013

Playing with Blocks Seen as Key to Math Learning

Hello Friends,

Research gives credence to playing with blocks as linked to an academic skill development. Spatial skills, the ability to envision what something will look like once it is arranged, are enhanced through block play. This is what artists, engineers, and architects do--see something in their mind and then reproduce it. Higher math achievement has its roots in the informal play of young children, and as children play with blocks they experience and learn many math skills, such as classification, measurement, order, patterning, counting, symmetry, balance, problem solving and planning.

Current research shows that young children’s strong math skills can predict later success in school. In addition to math skills, block play offers other learning opportunities. Through their play, children are developing language and literacy skills in addition to math skills. As children build, balance, correct, enlarge and refine their structures, they develop motor skills, using small and large muscles, and eye-hand coordination.

The EdWeek article below looks at spatial skills in young children and the relationship to mathematics skills.

Children's Spatial Skills Seen as Key to Math Learning

Tell us about block play in your classroom. Let's talk.

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