A new book by Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative gives early childhood educators the practical knowledge they need to teach mathematics to children ages 3 to 6.Developed by a seven-person team of instructors from the Early Math Collaborative, the unique book, Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know, is based on the premise that early childhood teachers need an understanding of the basic central ideas of mathematics that continue to be relevant throughout a child’s education.
“Knowing how to do arithmetic is not the same as knowing how to teach early math,” says Jennifer McCray, director of the Collaborative. “It is a specialized knowledge that has to be taught to adults.”
26 Big Ideas of Early Math
The book serves as a guide to how early math concepts and skills develop in young children and what teachers can do to help. Featuring 26 “big ideas” spread through nine content chapters, it includes a DVD that connects conceptual ideas to practical applications, as well as a study guide and questions for further reflection.
“Teachers need to know how to take advantage of opportunities to teach math while they’re supervising kids on the playground, as well as while conducting structured classroom activities,” McCray says.
“We strived to make this book accessible to teachers,” adds Jeanine O’Nan Brownell, assistant director of programming for the Collaborative. “The real-life examples help teachers imagine what math instruction could look and sound like in their own classrooms.”
Big Ideas of Early Math is based on the content strands identified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and maps pathways to help teachers meet the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.