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CATEGORY: Early Numeracy

Using Data-Based Decision Making to Drive Program Quality in PreK: The Story of One Head Start Program

with special contribution from Rachel Roberts, Assistant Principal of Kalamazoo RESA Head Start (MI)

Over the last three years, the state of Michigan has more than doubled its investment in State funded PreK. At the same time, Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency in Kalamazoo, Michigan was awarded the Head Start grant to serve 626 children across the county. These two PreK programs set the stage for the Intermediate School District to ramp up its early childhood programming and implement Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in their PreK early childhood programming.

What do the connections between early literacy and numeracy mean in preschool?

Early literacy and early numeracy are two important skill areas that develop during the early childhood period. Not only are these skills critical in and of themselves in terms of early school success, they are also necessary building blocks for knowledge in other areas (e.g., Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998) and they appear to be related to one another. For example, young children with delays in literacy skill development are often delayed in early math skills as well (Krajewski & Schneider, 2009). There is also growing evidence that both early literacy AND early numeracy skills are strong predictors of long-term achievement (e.g., Duncan et al., 2007).

What is early numeracy and why is it so important?

Geometry. Algebra. Measurement. Arithmetic. These terms all represent a collection of skills often categorized in research literature as mathematics. However, findings supporting mathematics generally reference performance of elementary students through adults. Recent research demonstrates increasing attention to the development of early numeracy, or the early skills within a developmental continuum that function as precursors and prerequisites to mathematics.

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