Differentiated instruction for early mathematics instruction is supported through understanding and use of Learning Trajectories - a goal, a developmental progression, and learning opportunities.
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.
Planning and Doing Math Read-Alouds
A Guide for Math-Based Read-Alouds (English)
A Guide for Math-Based Read-Alouds (Spanish)
List of Recommended Math Books-These are English language books and descriptions. We are working on compiling a list of Spanish language books and will update this handout when whe have a list.
Understanding Children's Mathematical Thinking
Mathematical Structure and Error in Kindergarten
The Building Blocks of Mathematics for Infants and Toddlers
High-Quality Early Math: Learning and Teaching with Trajectories and Technologies
Special Topics in Teaching Math in Early Childhood
Introducing and Using Games in the Classroom
Introducing and Using Games in the Classroom (Spanish)
Supporting Dual Language Learners
Block Play and Math- Setting Up the Space
Best Practices for Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)