Effective Practice Guides

Emergent Mathematical Thinking: See

Infants and Toddlers


  • Describe the physical environment in which the video takes place. Where is the teacher? Where are the children? What is everyone doing? How is the teacher interacting with the children? What signs do you see of the children’s emergent mathematical thinking? How does the teacher respond to the varying levels of development in this mixed-age group?


  • Which teaching practices does the teacher use to help the children develop a sense of number and quantity? Check the “Know” and “Do” sections for ideas. How does she individualize to support each child at his or her developmental level?
  • How does the teacher engage with the children who “can’t wait” to count before sliding down? Why does she wait for children who are counting slowly?


  • The girl wearing glasses counts and holds her fingers up to match the numbers—one finger for 1, two for 2, and so on. How would you scaffold her emerging mathematical thinking? What types of learning experiences might she be ready for next?
  • What other counting experiences could these children engage in throughout the day? How could the teacher incorporate counting in routines and transitions and in other activities?

Topic:School Readiness

Resource Type: Article

Last Updated: June 5, 2018