# Acquaintance with geometry as one of the main goals of teaching mathematics to preschool children

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT “ BELARUSIAN STATE PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY NAMED AFTER MAXIM TANK” FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT ACQUAINTANCE WITH GEOMETRY AS ONE OF THE MAIN GOALS OF TEACHING MATHEMATICS TO PRESCHOOL CHILDREN Executed by: student of magistracy department Yulia Аndreevna Dunai (tel.: 8-029-3468595) Scientific Supervisor: Professor Doctor of pedagogical science, I.V. Zhitko English Supervisor: Doctor of Psychology Associate Professor N. G. Olovnikova Minsk, 2009 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION I. HISTORICAL PATTERNS AND PERSPECTIVES OF TEACHING MATHEMATICS IN PRIMARY SCHOOL II. THE PURPOSES AND CONTENT OF MODERN MATHEMATICAL EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOL III. THE METHODS OF CHILD’S ACQUAINTANCE WITH GEOMETRIC SHAPES CONCLUSION CONTENTS REFERENCES INTRODUCTION Young children "do" math spontaneously in their lives and in their play. Mathematical learning for young children is much more than the traditional counting and arithmetic skills. It includes a variety of mathematical sections of among which the important place belongs to geometry. We've all seen preschoolers exploring shapes and patterns, drawing and creating geometric designs, taking joy in recognizing and naming specific shapes they see. This is geometry — an area of mathematics that is one of the most natural and fun for young children. Geometry is the study of shapes, both flat and three dimensional, and their relationships in space. Preschool and kindergarten children can learn much from playing with blocks, manipulatives (Jensen and О'Neil), different but ordinary objects ( Julie Sarama, Douglas H. Clements), boxes, snacks and meal (Ellen Booth Church). Also card games, computer games, board games, and others all help children learn geometry. This problem is relevant because the geometrical concepts should be formed since early childhood. Geometrical concepts help children to perceive the world. Also it will provide future success in academic achievement : as the rudiments , children learn in primary school, from the basis for further learning of geometry. Game methods help children to understand some complex phenomena in geometry. They also are necessary for the development of emotionally-positive attitudes and interest to the mathematics and geometry. I. HISTORICAL PATTERNS AND PERSPECTIVES OF TEACHING MATHEMATICS IN PRIMARY SCHOOL Throughout history, mathematical concepts and systems have been developed in response to real-life problems. For example, the zero, which was invented by the Babylonians around 700 в.с, by the Mayans about 400 a.d., and by the Hindus about 800 a.d., was first used to fill a column of numbers in which there were none desired. For example, an 8 and a 3 next to each other is 83; but if you want the number to read 803 and you put something between the 8 and 3 (other than empty space), it is more likely to be read accurately (Baroody, 1987). When it comes to counting, tallying, or thinking about numerical quantity in general, the human physiological fact of ten fingers and ten toes has led in all mathematical cultures to some sort of decimal system. History's early focus on applied mathematics is a viewpoint we would do well to remember today. A few hundred years ago a university student was considered educated if he could use his fingers to do simple operations of arithmetic (Baroody, 1987); now we expect the same of an elementary school child. The amount of mathematical knowledge expected of children today has become so extensive and complex that it is easy to forget that solving real-life problems is the ultimate goal of mathematical learning. The first graders in Suzanne Colvin's classes demonstrated the effectiveness of lying instruction to meaningful situations. It’s possible to recall that more than 300 years ago, Comenius pointed out that young children might be taught to

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