## Very Early MATH: SET 1

**Numbers tell us "How Many"**

**Don't start with counting! Instead check out Very Early Math: Set 1!****Think of these early math book SETs as the math equivalent of early phonics books.****The goal of these math book SETs is to start at math's best starting point.****And the best starting point may***not*be counting!

SET 1 of Very Early Math doesn't start with counting because for counting to make sense, a child must first understand why we count—to find out how many of something there are in a group. So, an even better place to begin when trying to help a child understand numbers is to help a child understand the idea of a group, that groups come in different sizes, and that we use numbers to tell us the size of these groups. So, instead of teaching a child to count 1-2-3-4-5…10, let's start by helping a child recognize and label the groups the child can already "see" and can already quantify without counting:

This ability to quantify without counting is called "subitizing." It's a critical early math skill that is often unrecognized and underappreciated. Most adults don't know what subitizing is nonetheless its importance to early math. Dr. Marty Epstein, the author of these books, didn't know about subitizing or its importance until she was working toward her PhD in Math Education and started exploring how the very earliest math concepts are learned and difficulties children can have in this process.

So SET 1 starts with recognizing without counting (i.e., subitizing) groups of 1, 2, and 3. In upcoming SETS, we'll get to counting and how counting tells us "how many." Dr. Epstein is working to make additional SETS in this Very Early Math series available as fast as possible. Stay tuned!

**Very Early Math books are:**

- Based on research about how children learn about numbers.
- Visually very simple, to support, and not distract from, key math ideas.
- Made in SETS that are divided into very short books (about 15-20 pages).

- Short, separate books allow new math ideas to be added gradually and systematically.

- Short, separate books build in lots of rewarding "I get it!" feelings.

- Each book contains a "Hi Grownups" page to discuss the math ideas explored in the book.

Books are offered in SETS for convenience and continuity, not because an entire SET is designed to be read to a child in one sitting.