Early Math Collaborative highlighted in CME Group Foundation report

[img_caption src=”https://www.erikson.edu/wp-content/uploads/CME-Group-Foundation-Early-Math-Report-dragged.jpg” align=”right” alt=”It All Adds UP cover”]Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative received a positive endorsement in a new report called “It All Adds Up: Early Math Initiatives in Illinois” from Voices for Illinois Children and the CME Group Foundation.

The report highlights the Collaborative as a hub of professional development for early math projects in Illinois. Since 2007, the Collaborative has engaged approximately 500 pre-k and kindergarten CPS teachers in yearlong early math professional development and more than 2,000 teachers in short-term professional development.

The approach has proven effective:

  • Preschool children whose teachers participated in yearlong programs demonstrated achievement equivalent to three more months of math during a single school year than those children whose teachers were not in the program.
  • For children who were already behind the national norm, the gain was five months compared to the contrast group.

Mapping the big ideas

The report notes that one of the Collaborative’s most important contributions has been to map the essential ideas about math topics that teachers of early math need to know.

Summarized and illustrated in the Big Ideas of Early Mathematics book, these concepts have guided much of the professional development done in Chicago by Erikson faculty in collaboration with other CME Group Foundation grantees.

Recommendations to expand

The report identified several promising angles that educators, foundations, and policymakers can explore to expand early math training among early childhood teachers without compromising the basic model and quality:

  • Using high-quality materials, including textbooks and planning guides for teachers
  • Creating partnerships with organizations such as the Early Math Collaborative to keep schools from having to reinvent the wheel
  • Training of master-teachers and coaches within districts, who can take on some professional development functions
  • Using resources such as the Big Ideas book to train pre-service teachers
  • Using technology as a reinforcement for coaching and to reach a broader geographic area

Read the full report