Learning Institutes – Big Ideas in Early Learning


July 17-20, 2018

Contact Hours: 20

A new way to explore early learning

Our first annual Big Ideas in Early Learning institute is open to teachers, teacher assistants, school/center administrators, and classroom coaches. The Math Track is specifically focused for teachers of 1st and 2nd Grades. See information on tracks below.

Big Ideas in Early Learning offers a one-of-a-kind experience, drawing together various disciplines in the field of early childhood education. Over four days, you will take part in intensive exploration with Erikson Institute experts, and each day, you will be introduced to a different Big Idea, an underlying concept that will be woven into each track.

Each day, these separate tracks will gather to explore the connections between their discoveries, making classrooms more meaningful for young children and their teachers.

Included as part of the institute are an opening reception the evening of Tuesday, July 17, and a fun group excursion in Chicago the evening of Wednesday, July 18. Food, beverages, and snacks will be served daily.

Registration closes June 10th.

  • Math Track: 1st and 2nd Grade Focused
  • For Teachers
  • Great opportunity for cross-curricular exploration



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Deep Learning about Number Sense and Operations

Dig into tools and big ideas for teaching and learning about 1) whole numbers and ways of representing relationships among quantities; and 2) meanings and methods for basic arithmetic operations. Working collaboratively, participants will explore rich mathematical situations, practice mathematizing, and use their own labeled drawings to see and solve problems. We will analyze student work, unpack common misconceptions, and examine materials that help all students see how math is useful and fun!

Focus: Understanding how number sense and basic arithmetic operations relate to one another
Age: Grades 1 – 2
Size: ~20 participants
Structure: Seven 2.5-hour sessions
  1. Exploring Number and Relationships Among Numbers
  2. Understanding Place Value and the Base 10 Number System
  3. Developing Meaning for Addition and Subtraction
  4. Analyzing Addition and Subtraction Problem Types
  5. Using Effective Linguistic and Visual Supports
  6. Building Towards Multiplication and Division
  7. Doing Arithmetic Flexibly and Fluently
During these sessions, participants will:
  • Practice identifying rich problem situations and mathematize
  • Practice using objects and labeled drawings to see and solve
  • Explain their thinking/reasoning to other participants
  • See how fluency and conceptual understanding are related
  • Analyze student work; build awareness of common misconceptions and strategies for re-teaching
  • Make connections to children’s own stories and children’s literature
  • Squeeze in some learning about early algebraic ideas related to equality, variable, and generalization
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Other tracks available for the event include Literacy, Technology, and Social/Emotional Learning.