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Differentiated instruction for early mathematics instruction is supported through understanding and use of Learning Trajectories. See video below for more!

Description of all Learning Trajectories 

  • Math is complex! Find a description of the topics of early math covered by this website, as well as the developmental progression research suggests is typical for young mathematicians from birth to age age.

Instructional Practice for Early Childhood Math Teachers

A partnership with the Institute of Education Sciences and the Regional Education Lab produced the practice guides and accompanying videos below.

Teaching Math to Young Children - IES Practice Guide

  • This REL Central video focuses on actionable strategies to increase the quality of math instruction in children’s early years. Dr. Douglas Clements presents this brief discussion delving into the key components of “early number knowledge” using Recommendation 1, “Teach number and operations using a developmental progression” from the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Teaching Math to Young Children.

  • This REL Central Video focuses on actionable strategies to observe a child's existing math knowledge and discern progress as learning continues. Dr. Douglas Clements presents this brief discussion delving into the importance of tailoring math activities to meet each child's needs and monitoring progress so instructional methods can be adjusted using Recommendation 3, "Use progress monitoring to ensure that math instruction builds on what each child knows" from the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Teaching Math to Young Children. 

  • This REL Central video focuses on actionable strategies to increase the quality of math instruction in the early years and to improve general language and broad cognitive competencies for learners. Dr. Douglas Clements, presents this brief discussion delving into math questioning strategies using the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Teaching Math To Young Children’s Recommendation 4, “Teach children to view and describe their world mathematically.”

  • This REL Central video focuses on actionable strategies to increase familiarity with math concepts by using them throughout the day and weaving them into various activities across different subjects. Dr. Doug Clements presents this brief discussion delving into importance of repetition of new mathimatical ideas whether it be while reading, playing, and even cleaning up the classroom using the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Teaching Math to Young Children's Recommendation 5, "Dedicate time each day to teaching math, and integrate math instruction throughout the school day." 

  • Here are additional resources to accompany the practice guide.

Incorporating Math and Literacy

Tips for Read-Alouds in Math - This resources provides research-supported ways to engage children in math through books. It also includes a large list of books for children in multiple areas of math.

Brief Reading Tips

 

Understanding Children's Mathematical Thinking

Mathematical Structure and Error in Kindergarten

The Building Blocks of Mathematics for Infants and Toddlers

 

Special Topics in Teaching Math in Early Childhood

Introducing and Using Games in the Classroom

Supporting Dual Language Learners

Block Play and Math- Setting Up the Space 

Differentiating Instruction with LTs

Special Thanks To

The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through grant numbers R305K050157, R305A120813, R305A110188, and R305A150243. to the University of Denver. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.