Glykeria Fragkiadaki


Before even entering formal education, young children form mathematical concepts and construct multiple and complex representations and ideas about mathematical symbols as well as about basic mathematical signs. These conceptions, representations, and ideas are critical for their early engagement, learning, and development in Mathematics. Entering school life, children bring into the educational settings these conceptualizations and use them to make sense, joint, participate, and contribute to mathematical educational routines, tasks, and activities. The present study seeks to explore preschool children’s representations and ideas about two commonly used in everyday life mathematical symbols: the sign of plus and the sign of minus. The findings of the study give an insight into preschoolers’: a) awareness of the signs, b) used terminology, and c) understandings about the role of the signs in daily life. The outcomes of the study inform practice providing a set of suggestions about how signs can be introduced in educational reality in early childhood settings.


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plus sign; minus sign; mathematical symbols; semiotics; mathematical concepts; mathematics; representations; children’ s ideas; tracing procedure; early childhood

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