The Early Math Collaborative contributed two presentations at the annual National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Conference and Expo, which took place November 5-8, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.
Instructors Rebeca Itzkowich and Lisa Ginet discussed number sense in their Spanish-language presentation “Contar no es todo lo que cuenta: Alfabetización numérica para los niños en prescolar.” Centered on the idea that “counting is not all that counts,” this presentation emphasized the fact that children need to develop a sense of quantity for counting words to have real meaning. One major concept discussed was subitizing, the ability to quickly “see” the quantity of a small collection of items.
Instructors Mary Hynes-Berry and Donna Johnson discussed measurement and engineering in their presentation “How About Those Three Little Pigs?: Using Stories to Bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) & Literacy to Life.” The presenters used the familiar story of The Three Little Pigs to illustrate various math concepts. Like the characters in the story, audience members constructed their own houses using limited materials: in this case, paper, tape, and string. The presenters emphasized the importance of being able to experience math through different channels—through storytelling, roleplaying, measuring, and building—to develop a well-balanced understanding of the concepts at hand.
For more information about the NAEYC Conference and Expo, visit their website or view this video overview of the 2014 event. Also be sure to listen to the reflections from a few of the math experts at NAEYC 2014 (including our own Mary Hynes-Berry).