Professional Learning Day

Forest Avenue & Riverside

Maximizing Student Mathematical Learning in the Early Years

Some Practical Tips for Creating a Mathematics - Rich Environment

1. Use problems that have meaning for children (both practical and mathematical).

2. Expect that children will invent, explain and offer critiques of their own solution strategies within a social context.

3. Provide opportunities for both creative invention and practice.

4. Encourage and support children by providing carefully scaffolded opportunities which allow them to deepen their understanding, use meaningful and elegant solution strategies and confidently engage in the mathematics.

5. Help children see connections between various types of knowledge and topics, with the goal of having each child build a well-structured, coherent knowledge of mathematics.

Capacity Building Series Maximizing Student Mathematical Learning in the Early Years, 2011


1. Identify and use everyday mathematics knowledge to plan instruction.

2. Encourage and foster "math talk."

3. Facilitate experiences that allow for mathematization of everyday knowledge.

4. Model and nurture positive attitudes, self-efficacy and engagement.

Capacity Building Series Maximizing Student Mathematical Learning in the Early Years, 2011



Lucy West presents "barriers to talk" and states that teachers must have a common understanding of what "accountable talk" truly means before we can expect students to engage in discussion and dialogue. West identifies five types of talk and states that teachers need to move beyond having students regurgitate rote facts through recall. Lucy West believes that teachers need to immerse themselves in meaningful discussion and dialogue with colleagues before they can expect students to question, defend and articulate their thinking in any content area. In a series of short video clips West deconstructs talk moves that can be used to support students as they engage in meaningful and authentic discussion on a variety of topics. Professionals are encouraged to rethink current practice and consider replacing old habits and beliefs with new habits that better reflect the skills students will be expected to have in the 21st century. or

04-Lucy West-Types of Talk
09-Lucy West-Barriers to Talk
LW Culture of Classroom Discourse



One Grain of Rice by Demi @ 1997

The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool Illustrated by Alison Jay @ 2012

The Action of Subtraction by Brian P. Cleary Illustrated by Brian Gable @ 2006

So Few of Me by Peter H. Reynolds @ 2006

Pest Fest by Julia Durango Illustrated by Kurt Cyrus @2007

A Leaf Can Be ... by Laura Purdie Salas Illustrated by Violeta Dabija @ 2012

Once Upon A Pond Written & Illustrated by Peter Simon @ 2008

Giving Thanks by Jonathan London Paintings by Gregory Manchess @ 2003

Tracks of a Panda by Nick Dowson Illustrated by Yu Rong @ 2007

How Much? Visiting Markets Around the World by Ted Lewin @ 2006

For Good Measure The Ways We Say How Much, How Far, How Heavy, How Big, How Old by Ken Robbins @ 2010

Ten Birds by Cybele Young @ 2011


1. Write ten things you know about the number _____ ( 10 ) ?

2. Write the names of ten places you can find a _____ (triangle) ?

3. What do you see? (variety of visual images)

4. There are 14 legs in a barn. What animals might be in the barn? Solve the problem in as many ways as you can.

5. Show how you might estimate the cost of coffee and a muffin for the group today.

6. How many things can you think of that come in pairs? in a dozen? in groups of three?

7. What numbers describe you? Explain the connection.

8. Write a plan for how you could figure out the number of games the Blue Jays will win/lose this season.

9. Write ten questions that someone could answer using the information on a graph.

10. Which number does not belong? Explain why. (6, 15, 10, 12)

RESOURCE: Share & Compare - A Teacher's Story About Helping Children Become Problem Solvers In Mathematics by Larry Buschman @ 2003

Extending the Challenge in Mathematics - Developing Mathematical Promise in K-8 Students by Linda Jensen Sheffield @ 2003

Eyes on Math - A Visual Approach to Teaching Math Concepts by Marian Small Illustrations by Amy Lin @ 2013

Big Ideas from Dr. Small - Creating A Comfort Zone for Teaching Mathematics Grade K-3 by Marian Small @ 2010

Math & Literature by Marilyn Burns & Stephanie Sheffield @ 2004

Critical Literacy - Enhancing Students' Comprehension of Text by Maureen McLaughlin & Glenn L. DeVoogd @ 2004

Many Texts, Many Voices - Teaching Literacy & Social Justice to Young Learners in the Digital Age by Penny Silvers & Mary C. Shorey @ 2012

It's Critical! Classroom strategies for promoting critical and creative comprehension by David Booth @ 2008