Series: Hear from the Experts

Creating Opportunities for Early Math with Rodrigo Gutiérrez

Creating Opportunities for Early Math with Rodrigo Gutiérrez

The role of play and importance of shared experiences in early math is discussed with Rodrigo Gutiérrez, Co-Director of the Center for Retention-Recruitment for Math Teachers at University of Arizona. Gutiérrez makes a case that early childhood classrooms can offer rich opportunities for math learning when teachers capitalize on classroom routines, school-wide events, children’s literature, and play to create shared experiences.

The role of the teacher to create shared experiences is essential.

With young children, you can’t rely on pop culture or shared experiences out of school to provide contexts for math learning. So early childhood teachers can co-construct meaningful contexts with children in classrooms so that math is accessible and relevant to them.

The Early Math Collaborative, supported by the CME Group Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation, held their first biennial conference in 2017 called Promising Math. A conference linking research and practice, the event brought experts from around the United States to discuss the understanding, teaching, and learning of mathematics for children between birth and eight years.The focus for 2017: Fostering access to mathematics for children who are English Language Learners (ELLs).