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Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Preschoolers Who Practice Phonics Show Stronger Math Skills, Study Finds | Math Instruction - Education Week

New research from Liverpool John Moores University in England found that learning about letter-sound interactions at home positively predicted young children's ability to count, calculate, and recognize numbers, explains Sarah Schwartz, reporter for Education Week.
Teaching Now Blog
Young children who spend more time learning about the relationship between letters and sounds are better at counting, calculating, and recognizing numbers, a new study has found.  

Researchers from Liverpool John Moores University in England looked at the reading and math learning experiences that young children have at home with parents. They asked the parents of 274 preschoolers—children who were on average about 4 years old—how often they did different educational activities with their kids.

These activities were split into three categories: code-focused literacy experiences (including singing songs about letters or the alphabet, or teaching kids how to sound out words), meaning-focused literacy experiences (such as discussing the plot of stories or describing pictures), and number experiences (like discussing quantities of things, or pointing out numbers in books or the environment). The researchers also measured parents' attitudes about math...

Why does learning about the sounds that letters have anything to do with math skills? Some of the relationship can be explained by language ability, said Fiona Simmons, a senior lecturer in the school of Natural Sciences and Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, and one of the authors of the study.

"Some aspects of [number skills], like your ability to read and recognize numerals, we'd imagine ... to be reliant to some extent on your vocabulary abilities," said Simmons. But in the researchers' statistical models, language ability didn't account for the entire effect.

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Source: Education Week