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Maria Droujkova

**Answer** by Kirby
·
Jun 21, 2013 at 12:12 AM

I'd say a 2.5 year old is a "learning machine" of awesome capacities that is unhampered by the adult-minded division of experience into "subject areas" such as "math". That will come later. Nature is communicating regarding all STEM subjects 24/7, very much including the "law of gravity" (so-called). To most adults I would say "stand back and watch, you'll both learn more that way." With preschoolers, I like to get to polyhedrons pretty early, and not just the usual shapes (cylinder, ball, cone, rectilinear brick, cube, triangular prism, arch).

**Answer** by sherylmorris
·
Aug 17, 2013 at 10:02 PM

It depends on the meaning of "lesson."
Two-year-olds and even younger can "absorb" from a well prepared environment with time enough to "bump around" it.
I'm from a Montessori background. One of the earliest math lessons children gravitate towards is sorting.

**Answer** by abrador
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Jun 21, 2013 at 01:02 AM

In '*The Process of Education'* (1960), Jerome Bruner famously wrote, "We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development" (p. 33). An unfortunate misunderstanding of this aphorism would be to remonstrate that toddlers cannot read natural language let alone mathematical symbolical notations, and so how might they possibly learn mathematics! But that would be a category error: symbols are parts of sign systems -- they are tied to meanings. It is these meanings that toddlers can develop through exploring age-appropriate situations. In fact, they can choose to express these meanings using any modality and/or medium they see fit. A finer point would draw on the work of Gregory Bateson -- in every event of learning two things happen: the person learns some 'content'; but the learner also learns about learning. By creating mathematics learning events for toddlers, we not only teach them content -- we model and mark for them that we value this activity as a cultural practice. Heck it should be fun too!

**Answer** by Maria Droujkova , Make math your own, to make your own math
·
Jun 21, 2013 at 07:04 AM

I would say 2.5 year olds will need an admin assistant for renting space, or keeping track of schedules. Other than that, they are excellent givers of lessons!
To learn math from a young kid, you have to figure out possible meanings of the kid's actions and words. Think of the child's math as a koan or a riddle. What can it possibly mean? What new ideas are hidden there? What connections can you make?
Find a way to get kids playing with your math, and follow their lead to the unexpected!
Here's a toddler on a Math Trek game for "interesting lines":
![Toddler Math][1]
He found something interesting. But what?
[1]: /storage/temp/44-toddlerscavengerhunt.jpg

toddlerscavengerhunt.jpg
(129.5 kB)

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