Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Tools to support mathematical precision through meaningful connections.

Document Type


Date of this Version



Buchheister, K. (2020). Kids code4. Tools to support mathematical precision through meaningful connections. The Elementary STEM Journal, 24(4).


Copyright © 2021 International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. All rights reserved.


As they move about their environments, young children have opportunities to reinforce their relational understanding and build mathematical vocabulary.

Coding activities can provide opportunities to extend content explorations and provide meaningful connections among mathematical ideas, early literacy skills, and geography.

Cubetto, the hands-on coding robot, was integral in Ms. Megan’s preschool classroom. Recognizing her children’s excitement, she used the robot to create collaborative, problem-solving experiences where the children explored spatial relations and used mathematical vocabulary to describe positions in space, “Cubetto is far away from the mountain” or “We need to make Cubetto go around the river—he can’t go through it!” As they navigated the obstacles, Megan fostered her preschoolers’ rational counting and number sense. She encouraged children to evaluate proposed ideas and justify their thinking as they debated how many tiles to use in order to move Cubetto from Point A to Point B: “No. We need to have four green tiles. He has to go forward four spaces, see? One, Two, Three, Four. Not five. You don’t need a green for the turn. You need a different color to turn.”