Series: Hear from the Experts

Myths of Early Mathematics (Part 1)

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Jennifer McCray, director of Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative, addresses some myths about early math. Counting is, in fact, complicated!

See more:
Part 2
Part 3

PDF of presentation:
2010 Myths of Early Math 10-11-09 jm

Jennifer McCray earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees at Erikson Institute. A former preschool teacher, she has taught pre- and in-service preschool and elementary teachers for the past eight years. In addition to directing the Early Math Collaborative, Jennifer conducts research on preschool teaching and learning. Her dissertation, which focused on preschool teachers’ understanding of mathematics, recently won two national awards.

The Early Math Collaborative, supported by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, held international symposia in 2009 and 2010. The two events brought experts from around the world to share approaches to early mathematics education with teachers, administrators, policy-makers, and other education professionals. The goal was to generate globally-informed ideas and recommendations for improving math instruction in the early childhood classroom. In breakout discussions and plenary sessions, participants brainstormed ideas, identified issues, and recommended actions.

Key icon for Big Ideas

Big Idea

Numbers are used in many ways, some more mathematical than others. More

Key icon for Big Ideas

Big Idea

Counting has rules that apply to any collection. More

Star icon for Common Core Alignment

Common Core Alignment

Counting and Cardinality More

Foundational Math Concepts

Source: International Symposium on Early Mathematics Education • Copyright: © Erikson Institute, April 2009 • Content ID: ED223 ①

More in the Hear from the Experts series


Myths of Early Mathematics (Part 2)

Jennifer McCray, director of Erikson's Early Math Collaborative, continues her talk on some of the most common misconceptions about early math education.


Myths of Early Mathematics (Part 3)

Jennifer McCray, director of Erikson's Early Math Collaborative, continues her talk on some of the major misunderstandings about what goes into teaching mathematics to young students. In this section, she focuses on how children gradually develop their understanding of number and quantity.

What do you think?

  1. Comment icon

    Michelle Fyock

    December 10, 2014 at 6:40am

    While it seems like the content of your video is strong, the captions that are paired with the PD are not. At one point, the presenter is showing how to “make six” using unifix cubes. However, the captions read “make sex with the girl”. There are several errors throughout the video, limiting its accessibility.

    • Comment iconAuthor

      Ben Austin

      December 10, 2014 at 2:51pm

      Captions are automatically generated through YouTube’s speech recognition technology, which clearly still has room for improvement. Creating our own transcripts for our video library is definitely a project that is on our radar, however.

      Whatever the case, thank you for your comment–it’s good to hear that you enjoyed the content.

    • Comment icon

      Cody Meirick

      December 11, 2014 at 10:16am

      Yes, thanks for pointing this out. Apparently this is a common complaint of Youtube videos. I don’t think you can even turn off the closed captioning as an option, but we may investigate and find that at least you can correct errors that are there. Again, thanks for pointing this out.

    • Comment icon

      Cody Meirick

      December 18, 2014 at 3:53pm

      Just wanted you to know that that particular error has been fixed. The close captioning on Youtube videos overall is fairly flawed; perhaps at some point we will have the time to go in and provide our own subtitles so that they will be better. In the meantime, we try to fix specific issues when we can. Thanks.

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