Innovations

Funded by one of only 49 “Investing in Innovation” (i3) grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the Early Mathematics Education Project will expand in the 2011-2012 year to include grades PK-3. This program is called EME “Innovations.” The 5-year initiative will help Illinois students reach or exceed state Learning Standards for Mathematics by implementing our innovative professional development (PD) program for teachers who serve high needs children in prekindergarten through third grades (PK-3).

Objectives:

  1. Teachers will have a better understanding of how math concepts develop;
  2. Teachers will become more skilled in implementing standards-focused math instruction;
  3. Teachers will feel more confident about teaching mathematics;
  4. Students will show significant improvement in ISAT mathematics scores; and
  5. Students will show significant improvement in overall school readiness.

This conceptually and operationally unique approach to PD will serve 2,000 children each year at 8 Chicago Public Schools.

Key components include:

  • Both off- and on-site services in individual, small group, and large group formats;
  • Attention to teacher attitudes, practices, and knowledge;
  • Creation of within-school mechanisms to sustain excellent math teaching beyond the intervention;
  • Support for any math curricula in use;
  • Emphasis on developing teachers’ deep, connected understanding of mathematics;
  • Children’s books provided to teachers to support math teaching;
  • Training in Erikson’s collection of small-group math activities;
  • Learning labs led by Erikson faculty; and
  • Within- and cross-grade level meetings about mathematics at each school.

The project will culminate in the publication of training materials suitable for wide replication and will support research on the best methods for teaching both children and teachers.

For additional information, contact:

Jennifer S. McCray, Ph.D.
Director, Early Mathematics Education Project
312-893-7249
jmccray@erikson.edu

It’s working

We’re making a difference in children’s math skills. Our research shows that children in the classrooms of teachers in the project learn more about math during the school year than children whose teachers did not participate.

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