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Understanding Mathematics for Young Children

Understanding Mathematics for Young Children
A Guide for Teachers of Children 3-7

Fifth Edition

February 2017 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Having a deep understanding of the mathematical ideas and concepts taught in the classroom is vital as a nursery or primary school teacher. In order for children to get to grips with these concepts, trainee teachers need to be aware of how they come to interpret and understand them.

Now in its 5th edition, this essential book helps trainee teachers develop their own knowledge of key mathematical ideas and concepts for the nursery and primary classroom. Now focusing specifically on ages 3-7, it also supports trainees with several age-appropriate classroom activities.

As well as updates to further reading suggestions and research focuses, this revised edition includes new content on:

  • Mastery in learning mathematics
  • Simple fractions
  • Roman numerals
  • Money as a form of measurement 
Understanding Mathematics
Understanding Number and Counting
Understanding Place Value
Understanding Addition and Subtraction
Understanding Multiplication, Division and Fractions
Understanding the Principles of Arithmetic
Understanding Number Patterns and Calculations
Understanding Measurement
Understanding Geometry
Understanding Statistics
Understanding Reasoning and Problem Solving Mathematics

The research focus in each chapter is particularly useful as this link between research and practice is often not made by trainee teachers.  The pauses to reflect section in each chapter is a welcome addition to this type of book as these will undoubtedly help to put the reading into some context for those practitioners in school and those training to teach children.  The areas chosen for each chapter are areas where there can be difficulties in understanding the mathematical ideas so these are well chosen.

This book provides a useful link between research and practice; one that is often not made by trainee teachers. The pauses to reflect section in each chapter help to put the reading into context for those practitioners in school and those training to teach children. 

Joanne Sutcliffe
Senior Lecturer - Education, Edge Hill University

'This is a very comprehensive textbook for teachers and student teachers. We trust the authors due to their wealth of experience in the field! The research focus links are also an important feature to emphasise the need for informed practice.'
Sandy Peperell

This book’s strengths lie in its pedagogical subject knowledge. The examples of children’s work and reflective opportunities keep it grounded in the classroom and ‘real’ teaching while challenging thinking and addressing potential confusion amongst teachers. Someone reading this would be left with a strong pedagogical understanding of how children learn and how their teaching can impact on this.


Chris Tyrell
Chris Tyrell, Senior Lecturer in Education, UEL

An outstanding book.
Should be a essential reader for all secondary mathematics teachers.

Mr Mike Rickhuss
School of Education, Wolverhampton University
November 16, 2018

really useful book for both practicing practitioners and learners who are developing their skills within the professional. Clear and concise with well thought through explanations.

Miss Abi Ackerman
Health, Care and Early Years, Yeovil College
October 13, 2017

Dutch elementary student teachers do not have any idea how, for example, in international schools mathematics for young children is taught. This book gives guidelines for teaching mathematics for young children. The content is comparable with Dutch books, and more precize. You could fine many good ideas in this book and also the development of young children for mathematics is well explained.

Mrs Hanneke Doornik-Beemer
Education, Fontys University of Applied Sciences
April 11, 2017