Learning basic numerals and alphabets is best to start at the early age of three and half years old. Piaget, a Swiss psychologist and philosopher, stated that the period between two and six was the sensorimotor stage when children began to represent the world symbolically.
At this stage, it is best for the early year teacher to reinforce the learning of the basic numbers and alphabets using plenty of tracing and practising motor skill such as cutting and making craft using both hands. My experience with these children is to teach them with pencil holding and consolidate with plenty of materials that would help them to learn. Children at this stage are tremendously curious about things around them and have short attention span. Colourful picture books are excellent for directing these children’s learning and usually keep them focus for a while. Soon, they are off again exploring the surrounding areas and socialising with their peers.
I suggest that using songs to teach numbers and alphabets, and make sure going through the previous lesson every time just to reinforce the learning. Children at the sensorimotor stage have different pace of absorbing and demonstrating skills, observing them individually and giving them appropriate attention is vital for future school participation. It is essential to offer them rewards with incentives such as stickers, and words of encouragement, further develop them into a habit of learning with enthusiasm.
Girls at the age of four or five can be extremely competitive about their dresses and other possessions and would ask for similar things from their parents and guardians. Sometimes, they rivaled for who become my friend. Girls can easily become jealous about their peers’ beautiful dresses, toys, shoes and intelligences.
Boys would fight for toys, superiority over the other and grouping up when participating in games.
As their attention span is short, teacher should alert their attention by adjusting the tone of the voice, sometimes to prevent them from the act of daydreaming or become bored.
Children at the sensorimotor stage are quite independent. They remember possessions such as lunch boxes, drink bottles, and bags, and put into bags, which belong to them. Some are quite skilled at writing names with capital letters for the first letter of the names, and capital letter for the first letter in their surnames. Some might struggle with upper and lower case letters all mix up when come to writing names. It will take time for these children to master the skill of writing names.