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Essential Early Math Skills

By Deborah Williams

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The Science Daily website reports that some psychologists from the University of Missouri have identified the essential math skills that young children should have to improve their chances of math success in later years. In the article, “Key Early Skills for Later Math Learning Discovered,” David Geary, Curator’s Professor of Psychological Sciences, commented, “We found that understanding numbers and quantity is a necessary foundation for success as the student progresses to more complex math topics.”

Among other skills, Geary and his fellow researchers found that young children should know how to translate numbers. They should be able to break a number into smaller parts, for example. Further the researchers noted that first graders who could use a number line, where to place numbers on that line, and some basic math facts surpassed their peers over the next five years. For many children, acquiring personal math tutor help may help them to acquire these necessary skills.

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