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Tuesday, November 1 • 1:45pm - 2:35pm
Games for Young Mathematicians: Mathematics Learning and Persistence in Preschool

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Children are never too young to have meaningful mathematical experiences. Yet in many preschool settings, expectations for mathematics learning and teaching are not set high enough—especially given the importance of preparing all students for kindergarten. In this early education session, we present the work from the Games for Young Mathematicians project, a National Science Foundation funded research study. This study explores whether a preschool teacher professional development (PD) intervention has an effect upon low-income children’s mathematics outcomes and persistence at challenging tasks. The PD intervention (1) trains teachers to use a set of challenging mathematics games; (2) supports teachers in scaffolding persistence; and (3) supports teachers in incorporating ideas from growth mindset research. The games support the development of mathematical perseverance and skills included in the preschool content standards: counting and cardinality; operations and algebraic thinking; and geometry. Learning how preschool children develop mathematical thinking and perseverance skills through the use of fun, developmentally-appropriate games is at the core of this project.

During the session, we will discuss the importance of early mathematics, persistence, and growth mindset in preschool classrooms. Participants will play the mathematics games and watch video of children in Head Start preschool classrooms playing the games. We will present research findings showing the relation between the PD intervention and child outcomes in mathematics and persistence at challenging tasks. Participants will leave with new ideas and resources about how to incorporate this work into their settings to promote children’s lifelong interest in mathematics.


Paul Goldenberg

Distinguished Scholar, EDC

Kristen Reed

Research Scientist, EDC

Jessica M. Young

Research Scientist, EDC

Tuesday November 1, 2016 1:45pm - 2:35pm
Grand Ballroom Center