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MathMat is a teacher-led program of mathematical activities designed to stimulate the numerical and spatial knowledge of 5-year-old preschoolers.

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MathMat activities enable students to develop their knowledge of counting, forming and comparing collections, the named and written sequence of numbers, and additive composition. Through a variety of manipulative activities, they also develop knowledge of geometric shapes and some of their characteristics, and explore the measurement of length.


This program invites pre-school classes to get involved in activities that raise questions whose solutions call on mathematical knowledge and related practices. MathMat is structured around two major mathematical themes: number and the structuring of space. Each of these themes is divided into sequences and activity capsules. These activities have been developed by UQAM professors on the basis of didactic theories, in a playful perspective adapted to preschoolers. All the activities were tested in Quebec classrooms.

In order to encourage mathematical engagement among preschool students, the activities proposed in MathMat aim, first and foremost, to enable students, alone or with others, to make choices and take action to solve a problem proposed within an activity. The meaning of the word “problem” here is very broad, insofar as taking part in a game or doing a craft, within an appropriate pedagogical framework and didactic intention, is presented as “a problem”.

The activities in MathMat are designed to provide students with what they need, in terms of materials, to implement a problem-solving strategy. In return, the material results of the student’s action provide feedback on the appropriateness and relevance of what he or she has achieved. This is undoubtedly the originality of the didactic approach behind the activities proposed for preschool. They enable students to judge the appropriateness of their strategy (or that of their peers), based on the material effect of their action. Secondly, teacher-led discussions help to identify the effective strategies used by the students, so that they can reinvest them and, if necessary, improve them when solving new problems.

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