Learning About the World
Learning About the World—is an active process of making sense about the world around us, discovering regularities and patterns, and exploring big ideas! Children naturally engage and interact with family and friends to make sense of their discoveries. Mathematics, Science and Social Studies are the primary domains in this section.
Mathematics is the active process of making sense of the world around us, discovering regularities and patterns, and exploring big ideas related to number, operations, measurement, geometry, and spatial reasoning. “The process of constructing meaning is the process of learning. We actually create our knowledge; we do not discover it.” (Fosnot and Dolk, 2001)
- The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) provides a set of eight Standards of Mathematical Practice:
- 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
- 4. Model with mathematics.
- 5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
- 6. Attend to precision.
- 7. Look for and make use of structure.
- 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
These practices must be encouraged and fostered by parents, caregivers, educators and others, with children of all ages, while children are actively engaged in discovering and learning new mathematics concepts.
- Number Sense, Quantity, and Counting -- Number Sense and QuantityChildren count in sequence, recognize numerals, connect numerals with quantities, and compare quantities.
- Number Sense, Quantity, and Counting -- Counting and CardinalityChildren count in sequence and by multiples, represent numerals, connect counting to cardinality, and compare quantities.
- Number Relationships and OperationsChildren increasingly use numbers to describe relationships and to solve mathematical problems.
- Number Relationships and Operations-- Operations and Algebraic ThinkingChildren develop and use concepts, properties, and representations of number that extend to other number systems, to measures, and to algebra.
- Number Relationships and Operations-- Numbers and Operations in Base TenChildren develop an understanding of the base-ten system and use place-value notation.
- Number Relationships and Operations-- Numbers and Operations in Base Ten - FractionsChildren understand fractions as numbers, and use that knowledge to compare fractions and explain the equivalence of fractions.
- Measurement, Classification and Data-- Measurement, Comparison, Classification, and TimeChildren develop awareness of the differences of the objects and learn to sort, compare and classify objects by their attributes and properties. They also develop a rudimentary sense of time based mostly on common routines.
- Measurement, Classification and Data-- Measurement and DataChildren compare and classify objects according to their attributes, use Standard and non-Standard units of measure, tell time and work with units of money. They develop the ability to represent and interpret data, and use operations to solve problems related to measurement including geometric measurement.
- Geometry and Spatial Reasoning-- Geometry and Spatial SenseChildren increasingly recognize two- and three-dimensional objects and use spatial reasoning.
- Geometry and Spatial Reasoning-- GeometryChildren recognize, describe and characterize shapes by their components and properties, compose and decompose geometric shapes, and discuss spatial structures and relations.
Science for young children, birth through grade 3, is focused on developing habits of mind such as curiosity, questioning, openness to new ideas, and persistence. This is a time when children are experiencing the world around them and enthusiastically constructing knowledge. Science should be relevant, concrete, and at children’s fingertips, allowing for understanding through their senses. Emphasis is on aspects of the natural world that can be explored. The younger the child, the more tangible the experience should be.
- Physical SciencesChildren construct concepts of the properties of matter, sound, motion and energy through inquiry, exploration and investigations.
- Life SciencesChildren construct concepts about the characteristics of living organisms, their biology and ecosystems through exploration and investigations.
- Earth and Space SciencesChildren construct concepts about Earth’s systems, the impacts of human activity on these systems, and Earth’s place in the universe through observations, exploration, and investigations.
- Engineering DesignChildren design, experiment, construct, alter, and problem solve to modify the natural world and meet their needs and wants.
Social Studies is an interdisciplinary field that includes sociology, anthropology, economics, civics, geography, and history. Through social studies and the many interactions they have, children come to understand their place and relationship to their family, community, environment, and the world; and they learn to become informed, involved and responsible citizens.
- InquiryChildren make sense of the world around them by actively gathering and interpreting information.
- Family and Community; Civics, Government & SocietyChildren identify themselves initially as belonging to a family, a group and a community; eventually they develop awareness of themselves as members of increasingly wider circles of society and learn the skills needed to be a contributing member of society.
- Physical & Cultural GeographyChildren construct concepts about the physical characteristics and locations of familiar to more distant places, and the impacts of people on the environment. They also construct concepts about their own cultural identity and learn to appreciate others’ cultures.
- HistoryChildren develop concepts about the passage of time, how the past has been interpreted, and the ability to connect the past with the present.
- EconomicsChildren describe how people interact economically and the occupations that people do to support themselves and society. They also learn about the economic interdependent relationships among people in our society.