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TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, v6 n1 Article 3 Oct 2009

Recent research has revealed new information about how preschoolers develop an understanding of counting, and offers exciting new strategies for teaching. These new strategies encourage children to problem solve and use reasoning to understand quantities and how counting works rather than simply providing them practice with counting procedures. There has been evidence for several years now that this type of problem-solving approach (or investigative approach) to mathematics instruction is beneficial for young elementary school students with special needs (Baroody, 1996; Baroody, 1999; Clements, 2000; National Research Council, 2001). Thus, it is likely that these new findings about preschoolers apply not just to young typically developing children but also to preschoolers with special needs. This article describes a new developmental framework for counting and weaves within it helpful activities derived from recent research as well as a few activities based on long-established best practices. Lastly, this article briefly discusses how difficulty with counting may or may not be indicative of a math disability. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)

Descriptors: Preschool Children, Problem Solving, Mathematics Instruction, Special Needs Students, Teaching Methods, Computation, Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Mathematical Concepts, Numeracy

Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail: cecpubs[at]; Web site:

Autor: Sadler, Faith H.


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