Building Mathematical Competencies in Early Childhood
This film deals with the WHY's, WHAT's, and HOW's of including rich, developmentally appropriate mathematics experiences for young children in Pre-Kindergarten classrooms:
Research indicates the long lasting educational benefits young children take with them from positive introductions to key math concepts and ways of thinking quantitatively.
The film illustrates several "BIG ideas" that should be the focus of early math experiences as presented by experts from Erikson Institute's Early Mathematics Education Project.
Lively footage of five very different Pre-K classrooms demonstrates how foundational math can be joyful incorporated in both informal and planned activities.
The Erickson Institute, named for Erik Erickson and located in Chicago, is a graduate school associated with Loyola University Chicago and focused on early childhood education and development. The DVD highlights the outcomes of the Early Mathematics Education Project by showing pre-service teachers and current teachers of young children why it is important to include rich, developmentally appropriate math experiences in pre-kindergarten classrooms, what those experiences can look like, and how to go about creating those experiences.
Jennifer McCray, Ph.D., Jeanine Brownell, M.S., and Jie-Qi Chen, Ph.D., all with key involvement in the Early Mathematics Education Project, take turns leading the viewer through math myths, appropriate “big ideas” in mathematics for young children, and some pedagogical applications as viewed in various Chicago based pre-schools and head start programs.
Each of the five big ideas – attributes of sets, quantity, counting, measurement, and shape - are illustrated with authentic classroom footage of preschool-age children experiencing the concept. Appropriate math tools such as counting bears, a water table with measuring cups, and building materials of triangular shape are shown as well as tools of everyday living that have been “mathematized” such as table service, shoes worn that day, and classroom furniture.
The educators conclude by suggesting that children are able and eager to learn these foundational math concepts when teachers “mathematize” their classrooms with intentional instruction and tools. They further note that research indicates these early foundational math concepts have lasting educational value for young children by connecting the concrete to the abstract.
This DVD is highly recommended for pre-service and current teachers of early childhood education and teachers of mathematics. The concepts are presented clearly with engaging visual footage. The cinematography and audio are excellent. The thirty-six-minute length makes this a ready resource for a college or university education classroom.
Jane Scott, Public Services Librarian, George Fox University