Most students enter school confident in their own abilities; they are curious and eager to learn more. They make sense of the world by reasoning and problem solving. Young students are active, resourceful individuals who construct, modify, and integrate ideas by interacting with the physical world as well as with peers and adults. They learn by doing, collaborating, and sharing their ideas.
Students’ abilities to communicate through language, pictures, sound, movement, and other symbolic means develop rapidly during these years.
Young students are building beliefs about what mathematics is, about what it means to know and do mathematics, and about themselves as mathematical learners.
Mathematics instruction needs to include more than short-term learning of rote procedures. Students must use technology and other mathematical tools, such as manipulative materials, to develop conceptual understanding and solve problems as they do mathematics. Students, as mathematicians, learn best with hands-on, active experiences throughout the instruction of the mathematics curriculum.