Series: About the Collaborative

Teaching Math to PreK-3 Students is Focus of Early Math Project

This article from Catalyst Chicago focuses on the Early Math Collaborative’s efforts to provide early math coaching to schools in need of support.

The wide-spanning Innovations Project puts the focus on teachers rather than students, as research shows that the teacher, more than any other variable, affects what children learn.

Through coaching, lesson study, and grade level meetings, the main goal of this project is to create a long-lasting cooperative mindset between teachers. By discussing lesson effectiveness, comparing student thinking, and sharing teaching strategies, teachers will begin to view their teaching beyond the boundaries of their own individual classrooms.

The project narrows its focus to look at math instruction specifically. Math is the subject that students tend to struggle with the most, and some of this stems from inconsistent beliefs about teaching math. Especially in preschool and kindergarten, sometimes math is even skipped over, as many believe that it is a lost cause to attempt to teach math to children at this age.

On the contrary, young children can grasp many fundamental math concepts if presented to them in a developmentally appropriate manner. Allowing children to experience math through exploration and through activities that resonate with their own personal experiences can help them make the connections they need.