Exposing young learners to basic math concepts helps lay the groundwork for a future understanding of mathematics. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics affirms that a high-quality, challenging, and accessible mathematics education provides early childhood learners with a vital foundation for the future.
While activities vary widely from preschool to preschool, it's commonly accepted that young learners must have a good grasp of some basic foundational skills that lay the groundwork for number sense and success in grade school.
In elementary school, children must master their number facts and develop numerical fluency. They begin with computation and problem solving using whole numbers, and then move on to computation and problem solving with rational numbers (fractions, decimals, percents, negative numbers).
This foundation is essential for pre-algebra and algebra, which they will encounter in middle school.
In middle school, students master computation and problem solving with rational numbers (fractions, decimals, percents, exponents, roots, negative numbers), and become proficient in first year algebra (Algebra I) creating a solid mathematical foundation for Algebra II, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus.
In high school, students focus on higher math, mastering algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, and probability in preparation for high school exit exams, college placement exams, and standardized college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT.