Teaching Math to Young Children

The Teaching Math to Young Children online professional learning will help you to more effectively support mathematics learning for young children. This online professional learning is organized around the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) “Teaching Math to Young Children” Practice Guide published in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse. Teaching Mathematics to Young Children follows the Practice Guide in being organized around five major research-based recommendations with specific classroom tools and applications that you can use to help you effectively implement the recommendations.

Course Objectives

  • Develop a deeper understanding of developmental progressions in number
  • Develop a deeper understanding of developmental progressions in geometry, patterns, measurement, and data analysis.
  • Investigate common methods of progress monitoring and how monitoring intertwines with progressions to inform instruction.
  • Use classroom activities and teaching structures to support young children to view and describe their worlds mathematically.
  • Dedicate math instruction within and integrate throughout the school day.
  • Reflect on experiences in the online professional learning and plan next steps.

Learn More

After the orientation unit, there are five main units in this course, each addressing one of the recommendations from the practice guide:

  • Teach with Developmental Progressions: Number and Operations
  • Teach with Developmental Progressions: Geometry, Patterns, Measurement, and Data Analysis
  • Progress Monitoring to Build on What Children Know
  • Teach Children to View and Describe the World Mathematically
  • Dedicate Time for Math and Integrate Math Throughout the School Day

In each unit, you will participate in a number of activities to help you dig into the content.

  • Connect Your Own Prior Knowledge
  • Explore the Recommendation
  • Notice Children’s Thinking
  • Reflect and Practice
  • Extend through Application
  • Deep Dive into Additional Resources

Jessica Hunt

Dr. Jessica Hunt

Jessica Hunt is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education and Special Education in College of Education at North Carolina State University. Her research supports a re-conceptualization of research and instructional practice across mathematics education and special education such that students with disabilities can build mathematics proficiency. Her work has three focal areas: (a) Documenting initial or informal conceptual understandings of students with LD within targeted mathematical areas (e.g., number; rational number); (b) Documenting and refining trajectories of how conceptual knowledge grows within the targeted areas occurs and can be nurtured through instruction; and (c) Designing and testing new instructional programs and practices based upon students’ trajectories of learning.

Brittany Miller

Brittany Miller

Brittany Miller is a Research Associate for the Professional Learning and Leading Collaboration team at The William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation where she supports schools and districts across North Carolina and beyond who are integrating Social Emotional Learning, Personalized Learning and Digital Learning programs through customized professional development and online professional learning opportunities.

Laura Albrecht

Laura Albrecht

Laura Albrecht represents The Friday Institute at NC State University as a Digital Innovation Coach. Laura serves school districts across North Carolina to design, develop, and deliver professional learning. Prior to joining The Friday Institute, Laura was a Senior Administrator as the coordinator of a STEM grant focused on bridging underserved populations of students. Laura is a Science Teacher by training, having taught 8th Grade Science in Iowa.

Dr. Beth MacDonald

Dr. Beth MacDonald, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Utah State University. She has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts and shared more than 40 presentations since 2010. Beth is currently writing and designing grant proposals to examine transitions students with learning disabilities make when reorganizing whole number and operational schema to construct fractions and fraction operations. Her research in young children’s subitizing is framing potential relationships between young children’s earliest units construction and older children’s units construction and coordination. Prior to her Utah State University appointment, Beth taught grades K – 5 in a fully inclusive setting for 15 years and served as a mathematics specialist for two years in Virginia. She considers cognitive research, special education research, and constructivist (neo-Piagetian) research when designing multi-faceted research/instruction to support meaningful mathematical learning and thinking for all students. She enjoys learning alongside some of the youngest mathematics students who surprise her continually with their unique perspectives. Beth earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in mathematics education from Virginia Tech in 2013.

Dr. Doug Clements

Dr. Doug Clements, Ph.D., is the Kennedy Endowed Chair and a Professor at the University of Denver, is a researcher and curriculum developer who directs research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences and has published over 130 refereed research studies, 23 books, 87 chapters, and 300 additional publications. He has served on the U.S. President's National Mathematics Advisory Panel, the Common Core State Standards committee of the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics national curriculum and Principles and Standards committees, and is and co-author on each of their reports. A prolific and widely cited scholar, he has earned external grant support totaling over $20 million, including major grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Art Baroody

Dr. Art Baroody, Ph.D., is a Professor of Curriculum & Instruction (early childhood and elementary mathematics education) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on the teaching and learning of basic counting, number, and arithmetic concepts and skills by young children and children with learning difficulties. He is currently the Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation grant (“Development of the Electronic Test of Early Numeracy”; 9/15/2016–8/31/2021). He is also the Co- Principal Investigator for an Institute of Education Sciences grant ("Evaluating the Efficacy of Learning Trajectories in Early Mathematics"; 7/1/2015–6/30/2019) awarded to the University of Denver. Dr. Baroody is the author of a number of books on teaching children mathematics, including Fostering Children’s Mathematical Power: An Investigative Approach to K—8 Mathematics Instruction (published 1998 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), and is the co-author of the Test of Early Mathematics Ability (3rd edition; published 2003 by Pro-Ed). He co-edited a book with Ann Dowker (Cambridge University) on mathematical learning (The development of arithmetic concepts and skills: Constructing adaptive expertise), which part of the “Studies in Mathematics Thinking and Learning” series, edited by A. Schoenfeld and published by Erlbaum Associates in 2003.

Participants will have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion for 15 hours of professional development during the Teaching Math to Young Children course.

In order to earn a certificate, participants must:

  • As part of the registration process, complete an initial survey about your background, organization, and goals for engaging in this online learning experience.
  • Explore and apply the corresponding IES Recommendation to your context and students.
  • Contribute to the forums by asking questions, responding to others' questions, and sharing ideas; agreeing with or identifying comments as insightful; suggesting resources that will be useful to others; and sharing your expertise in other ways. A certificate of completion requires participation in at least one discussion per unit.
  • Complete a final survey at the end of the course and provide suggestions for improving it in the future.

You can submit the certificate to your local agency with a request for CEUs. Granting of CEUs will be subject to the policies and procedures of your state and local agency.

Future Start Date(s) TBD
Duration 6 units
Cost Free
Primary Audience Early Education Teachers
Elementary School Teachers
Parents of Young Learners
Certificate Available Yes
Certificate Hours 15
Developed By Dr. Jessica Hunt, Brittany Miller, and Laura Albrecht
Facilitators Dr. Jessica Hunt
Brittany Miller
Laura Albrecht
Additional Hours 5 per micro-credential

Previous Courses

Fall 2021
Spring 2021
Fall 2020