Key Vocabulary and Supporting Strategies for Early Number Concepts


  • Ann Marie Casserly
  • Bairbre Tiernan
  • Pamela Moffett


Mathematics, Mathematical Concepts, Number Concepts, Math Talk, Early Number


Teacher-facilitated “math talk” in the early years significantly increases children’s growth in understanding of mathematical concepts (Klibanoff, Levine, Huttenlocher, Vasilyeva and Hedges, 2006). Young children often lack the language to communicate their ideas regarding their understanding of early number concepts. Teacher modelling and use of mathematical language throughout the school day allows children to articulate their ideas and communicate their understanding. Fostering “math talk” in young children as they explain, question and discuss their strategies is paramount. Teacher guidance is essential in helping children to make connections, to recognise how their thinking relates to key mathematical number concepts and to make further conjectures and generalisations. This paper will outline the theoretical perspectives underpinning the development of a resource of key vocabulary and teaching and learning strategies for teachers to support their planning and teaching in early number.




How to Cite

Casserly, A. M., Tiernan, B., & Moffett, P. (2021). Key Vocabulary and Supporting Strategies for Early Number Concepts. REACH: Journal of Inclusive Education in Ireland, 29(1), 18–32. Retrieved from