In this blog post, Jennifer McCray, Director of the Early Math Collaborative, addresses the state of early math education. Through personal experience and reflection on research, she makes the argument that it is much more abstract and complex than many assume.
Because of this, and because research shows that early math understanding has a profound effect on later success in school, preparing teachers to effectively communicate these ideas to young children is extremely important. Unfortunately, it is also very often overlooked. In fact, a stereotype that tends to be true is that many teachers in the early grades “love kids but hate math.” With enough preparation and support, however, teachers can improve their aptitude and confidence in teaching math to preschoolers.
The Collaborative has outlined 26 Big Ideas that are vital for teachers to understand and communicate to their students. Our Focus on the Lesson video series demonstrates effective ways to teach these Big Ideas in the classroom.