Voices for Illinois Children recently highlighted the work of the Early Math Collaborative in It All Adds Up: Early Math Initiatives in Illinois. Early childhood learning in the United States is behind where many feel it ought to be. Math is a specific problem as many students, particularly those from low-income families, fail to understand key concepts. This report stresses the point that intensive math professional development for their teachers can help these students catch up to where they need to be. The report mentions our book, the Big Ideas of Mathematics, and our impact in Chicago Public Schools through the Innovations Program (i3).
The report praises some of our colleagues as well. Math at Home provides short videos aimed at parents and caregivers to encourage math learning at home. Educare shifts the focus of early childhood learning even earlier, teaching children from birth to age 5 ideas about sorting, patterns, and measurement. Chicago Children’s Museum and Kohl Children’s Museum provide rich math environments outside of the classroom, as well as fresh ideas to bring back into the classroom. AUSL and Big Shoulders Fund provide sustained professional development for teachers and principals that includes learning labs, classroom coaching, and peer reflection sessions.
Voices for Illinois Children, founded in 1987, is a statewide, nonpartisan, multi-issue advocacy organization that is committed to building better lives for children. From policy research and analysis to community engagement, they seek to support policies and programs that enhance the well-being of children, families, and communities in Illinois.