DAP Mathematics Skills

I was recently talking to a group about developmentally appropriate math skills for early childhood children (see ‘Conference Handouts’ below right). I remember discovering the developmental order of math skills a number of years ago when I was teaching kindergarten. When I patiently worked through the developmental order (and didn’t rush to talk about numbers, shapes, etc.), the most amazing thing happened. ALL of the children in my class acquired all the skills when they were introduced. I no longer was playing the ‘catch-up’ game with children that didn’t seem to wrap their minds around the skill. It gave me the understanding of how important it is to built the foundation for every skill that is taught. Children that don’t seem to understand a concept usually do not have the background knowledge to support that skill. For other developmental lists, check out: http://www.teacherquicksource.com/

16 responses

  1. That makes perfect sense. It’s like doctors in a sense. They can’t preform open-heart surgery without first knowing what each tool is used for. I think that we try to push children to hard sometimes, and try to force them to understand different concepts to quickly. There needs to be a foundation before you can build the house upon it. Melissa Henrie FCS 5170

  2. I agree 100% that it is important to take the time to teach kids the basics and the foundation of learning so that we as teachers don’t have to play catch up like you said. It is like my mom always said, if you do it right the first time you don’t have to do it again. The problem is though, that when you get students in the upper grades, they aren’t all going to be on the same level so then it becomes a huge decision either to slow down and play catch up or continue on and have those students keep struggling.Jennifer N. TL 2330

  3. I agree that building up that strong foundation is vital to a child’s progress. I wish more teachers would take the time to build that foundation before proceeding with further instruction. It would prevent a lot of frustration in both the teacher and the student. I feel it would also develop more confident and successful learners.Trisha B.TL 2330

  4. Hi Funk:)I read your article and I can agree it perfectly. I think the most important part of our study process is the education which is taught at elementaly school. No one is able to make solution of any advantaged question without fundamental knowledge,so I want to provide really usuful education to my children in close future. *Naoko Shigehara TL 2330

  5. I can remember being in elementary school, and sometimes we would move on to more difficult tasks before I had fully grasped the basics, and nothing was as frustrating for me than constantly feeling behind! I struggled one year for nearly the entire year on grasping one concept and it was amazing how much that effected all of my subjects, I was so hung up on trying to figure that out that I couldn’t focus on other things. Mary H

  6. So, first of allI had to understand what DAP meant. Once i got that…thanks goodness for your conference handouts. I have been taking another class this semester called Middle CHildhood Development. The first part of the semester we talked about cognitive development and the steps that are needed at each level in order for the child to progress to the next one. Not only does this happen with math, english, science, but in their physical development as well: in order to be able to write in cursive, the child first needs to learn how to grasp something, then how to make the shape with the hand etc….This has made watching my young nieces and nephews much more interesting. I am able to apply what I have learned, and in a very few instances, encourage them utilizing tools I have learned this year.Levi Webb CHildren’s LIterature

  7. I also agree. A strong foundation for what is being taught must be established in order for the students to be able to understand.Nate W Children’s Lit

  8. Building a foundation for every skill that is taught is definitely important. We start off with the basics and work our way from there. For example, you learn to crawl before you walk. Xuan P. TL 2330

  9. I love DAP. I think it’s so important for all early childhood and early elementary teachers to know about DAP when teaching skills. Building foundations helps make learning easier for children and makes it stick with them longer.

  10. I totally agree! Its all about the basics! I just hope I can remember and implement this in my own classrooms. I have been working in a preschool and I haven’t noticed this kind of developmental steps in math taking place. It’s no wonder only about half of them know their numbers! Next time I go back I am going to suggest that we work on more basic skills such as patterning, or ordering, then introducing the numbers. I am glad that I am going into the teaching profession so that hopefully I can do things like this right the first time around. It is frustrating to think that many early childhood teachers do not do things in the correct developmental order the first time so either upper grade teachers or the child himself is having to go back and either make corrections.

  11. searching for math topics for early childhood- came across your site which led me to the quicksource sites- awesome!!! will be back! ~jessica

  12. I also agree that we need to ensure that young children are learning “the developmental order of math skills.” We shouldn’t rush them through particular skills but just as someone else suggested we need to lay the foundation for them to learn additional skills. The links that you provided were valuable resources and I look forward to incorporating them into my curriculum.

  13. I agree with you totally about children having an understanding of background knowledge which supports them in learning concepts ofthose math skills. When the teacher works with patience to help a child perform task, there are other potential benefits can also gained from it.

  14. I can remember when I first began teaching and I tried to show teaching students information without first giving them a foundation to start with. I found it very difficult and I had to contiuously play the catch up game with the students. But, when we started with a foundation -from the bottom- and then worked our way up, it was easier for all.


  16. Can anyone provide me with a link to receive training In DAP math?I am in Washington state.Thank you,Melody

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