Math Skills and Milestones For Early Learners

Math lessons are often skipped over in early childhood classrooms. Math curriculums are not the easiest to find and most are hard to adapt to all of our learner’s individual needs. As a teacher, I often struggled to come up with ways to teach early math skills as well as my learners who were a little more advanced than typically aged peers. I struggled to find activities and lessons that were engaging and also teaching our learners the skills that followed the learning standards of my state. The Autism Helper math resources were a life saver. I also saved time and worry when using the ABLLS-R assessment. The skills and next steps my learners needed to go on an individual basis was easy to keep track of and implement. In this blog post, I will give some examples of early learner math skills, example goals, and The Autism Helper resources that saved me!

The standards will differ by each state, however, some early learning standards are very similar. I am most familiar with Illinois early learning standards, and those I will share here. The ABLLS-R looks at early learning skills and gives detailed sequences of those skills. The R section covers math skills and many of which align with the Illinois Early Learning standards. Some examples are:

 

  • 6A. Demonstrate beginning understanding of numbers, number names, and numerals aligns to ABLLS-R R6 – Names numerals in sequence  
  • 6B. Add and subtract to create new numbers and begin to construct sets aligns with ABLLS-R R14 Add items to specified quantity, R19 – Walk and get specified number of objects from a larger set, R20 – Add numbers, and R29  – “Subtract/take away” 
  • 6D. Compare quantities using appropriate vocabulary terms aligns to ABLLS-R R25 “Equal” and R26 – “Unequal” 
  • 8A. Explore objects and patterns aligns to ABLLS-R B13 – Sequence pattern to match a visual model and B22 – Extend a sequence pattern  

Creating and identifying measureable math goals for early learners under the cognitive domain was a struggle for me. I was unsure what was appropriate, and before I had the ABLLS-R, I was not so confident in knowing exactly the sequence of math skills developing in younger learners. After much growth and training, I found goal ideas that many of my learners required more support in. I have listed a few goal ideas below (not in sequential order):

 

  1.  _______ will count out loud from 1 to 10, stopping at 10, when adult asks/directs “count to ten” with 100% accuracy across 3 consecutive sessions and 2 adults. 
  2. _______ will identify the group containing fewer items when the groups are presented in a field of 3, with 90% independence across 3 consecutive sessions. 
  3. _______will identify the group containing “some” items when the groups are presented in a field of 5 with 90% independence across 3 consecutive sessions. 
  4. ______  will identify the cup containing no items when groups are presented in a field of 3 with 100% accuracy across 3 consecutive sessions. 
  5. ______ will receptively identify written numerals 1-10 when they are presented in a random field of 5 with 100% independence across 3 consecutive sessions and 2 adults. 
  6. ______  will identify the group containing “more” items when the groups are presented in a field of 3 with 90% independence across 3 consecutive sessions. 
  7. _____ will give the number of items requested for quantities 1-15 (example: give me 6) with 100% accuracy across 3 consecutive sessions and 2 adults. 

The Autism Helper resources saved my life. Not only with the ABLLS-R resource kit, which I use ALL of the time, but also with the plethora of math resources that they have available. Some of my favorites are below! 

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