Pre-Kindergarten Overview: Introduction to the Math World

     This is the very beginning of an amazing trip into the world of mathematics! It will turn out to be a life-long journey, as math is so much more than part of the educational process. The design of the Pre-Kindergarten exercises is very friendly and includes a lot of game-like tasks because the youngest students need to engage in the learning process and connect their previous game-based cognition to real science. Emerging readers will have no problem working with it on their own, as the app features text read aloud in English or Spanish in a natural human voice. In addition, everything can be repeated as many times as your students need.

     For the Pre-Kindergarten curriculum, Happy Numbers collected all the best exercises on logic and structural thinking, which are so important for students to grasp at this stage. They learn the basics of counting, sorting, and comparing object attributes, become familiar with simple geometric shapes, study numbers up to 10 and use abstract visual models. 
     In addition, students learn to describe the relative position of objects with terms such as above and below, which widens their skills of orientation in space. They encounter the concepts of length, weight, and capacity and learn to compare them. At the end of this grade, they will smoothly transition from the comparative concept of counting to the concept of basic math operations such as addition and subtraction with numbers from 1 to 5. It is an important year of great leaps in math understanding.

     Happy Numbers empowers your Math Stations with software, developed using the latest educational technologies and best practices, that provides students with a strong foundation and a real math mindset. Take a short tour through the Pre-Kindergarten curriculum with this overview.

All exercises mentioned below are part of the Happy Numbers course for Pre-Kindergarten. Visit to explore our full curriculum and sign up for a free trial.

Objects and Their Attributes

     First of all, Happy Numbers introduces basic features, which help to differentiate objects one from another. New terms such as the same, different, alike, larger, and smaller are shown through interactive tasks with familiar objects like fruits, frogs or bugs, which students will pick, drag, and even paint over.

     As a first step, the software explains the term by actions with cartoon characters, as well as by text and audio comments.


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     Then students prove their understanding by solving a simple task. For example, they match alike items:

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 Or they practice comparing sizes of familiar objects and learn such concepts as larger / smaller:

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      Before introducing new tasks, Happy Numbers shows a short tutorial to prepare students for the journey. Here they explore sorting by color in the company of the funny cosmosaur! Positive association creates a friendly atmosphere in which new concepts are going to be explored:

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Counting Begins!

     Gradually, students come to counting. Initially, Happy Numbers suggests they tap as they count, as touching makes the process tangible and easier to understand. They learn numbers up to 5 using real objects. Happy Numbers adds energetic calls to action to involve every student!

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     Students learn to define a number and select it from the others in this exercise which introduces some new math friends — numberlings.
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     In this task, students combine the skills of sorting objects into single groups and then counting them:


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     Happy Numbers smoothly guides them from word form of quantity notation to a standard one. In this exercise a keyboard with numbers appears at the bottom of the screen, which students use to choose answers:


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     Insofar as quick mental arithmetic is a very important skill, Happy Numbers urges students not to count each object, but to visually recognize their quantity.
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     To instill the new skill, Happy Numbers provides students with the ability to repeat an action by clicking on the “Watch again” button at the bottom.

     By offering an application problem, Happy Numbers leads students to practice their knowledge. Here they repeat number sequencing while helping Dino go to the other side.

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     In Happy Numbers’ curriculum for primary school, there are many tasks with tangible elements called manipulatives. They’re a proven instrument for building conceptual understanding of basic math, especially for the youngest students! 
     For them, movement is so essential that it seems impossible to convince them to sit quietly at their desks. That is why manipulatives will be the greatest addition for math practice, as they fulfill their need for movement and deliver concrete, sensory experiences that help develop an understanding of complex, abstract concepts. You will find many exercises with manipulatives in the Pre-Kindergarten curriculum and in higher grades.

     In Happy Numbers pedagogy, there are targeted approaches that actually boost students’ progress. Look at this exercise. Students get 5 strawberries, presented as manipulatives, which they split differently by dragging. It builds the foundation for addition and subtraction they will learn in depth in Kindergarten and Grade 1, and surprisingly develops a skill of regrouping, which they will need for division.


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     Another effective type of exercise is ‘one more’ and ‘one less’. In fact, it’s the same as if students add or subtract one, but for now they just need to grasp the pattern. The concept of ‘one more’ is shown in a real world scenario.

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     Happy Numbers introduces the concept of ‘one less’ with real objects. Birds, which are flying away, are a clear associative model that students have already encountered in life.



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Intro into Geometry

     Already in Pre-K, students become familiar with basic geometric shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles. Happy Numbers leads them to the understanding of shapes through associations with real objects and selecting them among others.


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     Here they also start to learn some terms of an object’s position. Friendly animals show what it means to be above or below, next to, and in front of or behind.


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Numbers up to 10

     Students continue learning numbers to 10. They work only with real and familiar objects, like fruits or animals. Each new number they explore is added to the keyboard at the bottom of the screen.


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     Along with the exercise with strawberries, this one with pencils carries students forward to addition. They count a sum of objects by dragging them into an answer box. On the second level of the task, Happy Numbers asks them to do the inverse operation, that is, break the total number of pencils into two groups according to conditions given.

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     Happy Numbers also introduces zero through animation, which builds an associative link between the number and real objects.

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     By the end of Module 3 students become familiar with all numbers from 0 to 10. They repeat counting by distributing 10 identical objects aligned in two rows.

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Some New Object Properties

     Students continue to expand their knowledge of real object properties by studying terms such as length, weight, and capacity. Happy Numbers goes into more detail, showing them how to make comparisons.

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     Since students are familiar with characteristics such as the same and different, Happy Numbers asks them to build a visual model using manipulatives, which will match given conditions. This helps to develop conceptual understanding of new terms.

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     Students progress to abstract modeling with cubes and get acquainted with a soon-to-be frequently used instrument called Base-10 Blocks.

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     Properties such as lighter or heavier are ones Happy Numbers explains using a scenario with a seesaw, which is familiar and exciting for young students. It looks like a game, but it perfectly explains the concept with a real world example.

Тo see the full exercise, follow this link.

Building Math Scenarios

     The last step before moving to addition is presented in this exercise. Students count like objects separately, recording numbers which will soon become addends, and then count a sum.


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     They prepare for subtraction by moving through an inverse scenario, in which part of the group of objects disappears.

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     Students learn to match real objects with cubes and then count them. This is how Happy Numbers guides them to more abstract visual modeling and, accordingly, to a higher math level.

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     The Pre-Kindergarten curriculum ends with exercises fully describing the development of an abstract scenario. Students mentally translate conditions given in numerical and word notation into an abstract visual model and build it with manipulatives. Here is what it looks like for an addition equation:


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… and for a subtraction task:


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     Such exercises, which require using models of different levels of abstraction, help to develop mathematical thinking, which also contributes to the growth of creativity.

Build up a Solid Foundation

     Pre-Kindergarten is a starting level, which lays the basis for subsequent development of the student in the field of mathematics. According to recent research, children who have low math marks at the beginning of math education continue to lag behind their better-prepared peers. By 8th grade, they may perform at a level their peers had surpassed by grade 5. That is why laying a mathematical foundation at the Pre-K level should be given the greatest attention. It’s important to not only teach math procedures but to also develop a math dialogue, which will allow students to form a conceptual understanding and initiate a flexible mathematical mindset. For that reason, Happy Numbers developed the Pre-K curriculum taking into account the interests of students as well as teachers’ priorities. Based on actual scientific developments and widely available technical capabilities, Happy Numbers offer exercises with a variety of engaging scenarios, memorable examples, and what is not less important – great pedagogy that will help students feel the strong connection between the familiar world around them and mathematics. 

How can you enhance your instruction with Happy Numbers?

     It’s incredibly easy to bring Happy Numbers to your class, and you can do so at any point in the school year. Sign up now or watch a 1-minute video that will guide you through the setup:
If you have any additional questions, our support team is always here to assist you. Click the blue messenger icon on the bottom right corner of this page to start a conversation with them.

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