In 2014 we authored the book Big Ideas in Early Mathematics: What Children of Young Children Need to Know. For teachers of children ages three through six, the book provides foundations for further mathematics learning and helps facilitate long-term mathematical understanding. It’s the perfect guide for those who want to focus their instruction on mathematics that is central, coherent, and rigorous.
– Connie Casha, Tennessee Department of Education
The Early Math online environment is full of ideas, all collected in our Idea Library. At the root of these ideas are the Early Math Collaborative’s Approach to Foundational Math and Approach to Teaching and Learning.
Our goal is to improve and provide resources for real-world teaching. This means not just accumulating and distributing knowledge about foundational mathematics, but providing resources that have practical implications for teaching, affecting attitudes and practices as well. Resources need to be relevant, easy-to-find, and assigned importance for classroom or training purposes. It is not enough just to provide an avenue for online learning math, but to provide context for the concepts presented whenever possible.
This website is designed with a focus on the Big Ideas. It aligns to the Common Core State Standards so that educators and trainers can find what they are looking for according to learning standards. But it also connects those standards to our own Foundational Math Concepts and Big Ideas, drilling down to the heart of what standards intend to do, which is communicate what central concepts children need to understand.
For researchers, we catalogue research publications and presentations from our ongoing, applied research to further advance the field of early mathematics education.
The resources we add to our website are part of a growing number of series. Some of the series are aimed at teachers and caregivers to provide ideas for mathematizing the world around us, like our Book Ideas, Early Math Lists, and Focus on Play series. Others are aimed at teacher educators or teachers who are learning to improve their practice, such as our Focus on Collaboration and Focus on the Child series. You can refer to the filter bar in our Idea Library to browse the different series we have available.