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Through play, babies and toddlers begin to see how the world is organized. At birth, they begin to see the patterns, sequences, and categorization of actions and things. Some parents might be dismayed to discover how important it is to engage their babies and children in math talk, or mathematizing, through their everyday play. "The Gift of Math" is designed to reassure these parents. For parents of children from birth to age five, the most effective way to talk math is to talk about the big math ideas that show up regularly in children's play. Ideas, such as same and different or more and no more, are the bedrock of math talk. Studies have proven that third grade children's abilities to talk about math in their everyday life predicts their later success in school, so increasing children's awareness of mathematical concepts from an early age is the best way to ensure their long-term educational success.
About the Author
Talmage Steele is a grandmother and early childhood expert who spent her career teaching, mentoring, and developing curriculum and enrichment resources. She has worked with parents and teachers in Chicago Public Schools and daycare centers. She managed a McCormick Tribune Literacy Grant working with CPS daycare coaches in 85 classrooms, Annenberg Challenge Grants, Chicago Arts Partners in Education (CAPE) Grants, and The Erikson Arts Project. She also wrote and illustrated "The Gift of Words: How Do Children Learn to Talk?" the first edition in the Talk to Me Mama series.