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By the time most children start school they have developed a great deal of informal math knowledge about topics such as shape, pattern, measurement, and numbers. Also, they have probably acquired some vocabulary that reflects mathematical knowledge – big/small, more/less, before/after, and heavier/lighter.   Not surprisingly, children who have not been exposed to informal mathematical concepts are at a disadvantage when they enter formal schooling.

Mathematics is a central component of scientific investigation and so it occurs naturally in ScienceStart! lessons. In addition, each daily lesson plan includes a separate section to emphasize ways to incorporate mathematics into the day’s lesson.

The list below shows the math topics introduced in each of the 10 units that make up the Complete ScienceStart! Curriculum.

My School and My Friends

Comparison words – more/less

Sequencing words before/after, first/last

Positional words above, below, middle, between, next to

Count sets of objects up to 5

Count down from 10

Talk about and draw straight and curved lines

Sort by characteristics

Shape recognition

Use data to make and interpret a graph

Learning to Measure

Begin to measure distance

Compare length

Compare size

Use standard and non-standard measurement tools

Learn names of units for standard measurement

Count sets of objects

Learn to use a pan balance

Seriate objects by size

Sort objects by size

Recognize and make ABAB patterns


Sort objects by color

Count small sets of objects

Use measuring cups

Copy simple patterns

Make simple patterns

Recognize and name basic shapes

Use squares of paper to make color equations   Red + Yellow = Orange

Talk about the meaning of the symbols = and +

Introduce the concept of proportion by using yellow and blue water or paint to make as many different shades of green as possible

Introduce vocabulary for frequency, most often/ least often

Introduce vocabulary for comparison, same/different

Light, Shadow, and Reflections

Make graphs and compare data

Introduce vocabulary for distance, near/far

Introduce vocabulary for movement, forward/backward

Introduce vocabulary for position, in front/behind

Make size comparisons

Categorize materials

Count objects in a set

Introduce vocabulary for sequence, first/second/next/last

Revisit straight and curved lines

Using photos/pictures and a mirror, explore symmetry

Introduce vocabulary for basic geometric shapes, circle, triangle, square, rectangle

Match sets of objects with numerals

Change the size of a shadow by moving the light source closer to/away from the object

Write directions for a 3 step activity, discuss the importance of following the right sequence

Properties of Matter

Measure time, temperature, distance, and volume

Measure time two ways: by clapping and by using a stopwatch

Copy and extend patterns

Work with shapes: draw, name, match, discuss, build, compose, and decompose

Find, name, and build common shapes

Recognize and write numerals

Compare similarities and differences of 2D and 3D shapes

Compare weights using a pan-balance

Living Things in the Neighborhood

Sort objects into living/non-living and give reason for choice

Collect leaves, sort by color, size, shape

Create and interpret charts or graphs made during the above activities

Count sets of 1 – 10 objects

Make sets of 1 – 10 objects

Select enough objects to match number on a number card

Revisit big/small

Sequence 4 cards showing simple plant life cycle (seed, sprout, young plant, plant with flowers/fruit)

While sequencing, use vocabulary first, second, third, last to describe position

Talk about small, medium, & large and how these words are relative to the objects/context being described

Measure height

Identify numerals

Play a counting game

Identify numerals

Use tally marks for counting

Plants in the Neighborhood

Count sets of objects

Sort materials by attributes, e.g., color, size, and shape

Add by 1; subtract by 1

Compare objects using vocabulary for size, equal, more, less, small, medium, large

Compare objects using vocabulary for texture, rough, smooth, bumpy

Copy and create ABAB Patterns

Use standard measuring tools for baking/cooking, cup, ½ cup, tablespoon, teaspoon

Animals in the Neighborhood

Sort objects by their characteristics

Make sets of a specific number; count items to see how many are in a set

Compare sets using vocabulary equal, more, less

Identify numerals 1 – 10

Solve word problems

Measure length in various ways

Use data to make and interpret a graph

How Things Move

Recognize numerals

Make and copy patterns

Use ordinal numbers

Use vocabulary for spatial relations, curved/straight, left/right, forward, backward, reverse

Use a pan balance and a scale

Record data on a chart and interpret it

Measure distance in various ways

Measure time

Compare weights using vocabulary equal, lighter, heavier

Compare amounts using vocabulary equal, more, fewer

Simple Machines

Add one more item to a set and provide the new total

Remove one item from a set and provide the new total

Make a simple pattern

Use a pan balance to compare objects using vocabulary equal, the same, heavier, lighter

Use cardinal and ordinal numbers

Time an event by counting/clapping to 20

Sort by various characteristics