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ECE 321: Mathematics for the Young Child

Course Description

This course focuses on early mathematical content and concepts that are relevant to young children during the first five years of life. The course is designed to teach students effective strategies to recognize and promote mathematical development and learning in all young children. Students will explore what mathematics looks like for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and learn specific ways to facilitate young children’s mathematical development. Students will practice what they are learning through a variety of assignments, including direct interactions with young children. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to identify opportunities for mathematics learning throughout the curriculum, observe and assess young children’s developing mathematical knowledge, plan experiences that focus on specific math concepts, and use a variety of strategies and materials to promote children’s interests and abilities in mathematics.

Prerequisites

  • ECE 101: Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Describe what early mathematics is, how it develops, and why it is important.
  2. Identify mathematical concepts that young children learn as they play, interact with the environment, and interact with adults.
  3. Explain how adults can support the mathematical development and learning of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers through play-based opportunities.
  4. Describe the development of number skills and concepts in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of number and operations by applying research and developmental information to observations, counting assessments, and instructional experiences for young children.
  6. Describe the development of geometry and spatial sense in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of geometry and spatial sense by applying research and developmental information to observations of young children by planning developmentally and individually appropriate geometry and spatial sense experiences for young children.
  8. Describe how to communicate with families about supporting children’s shape knowledge and spatial sense.
  9. Describe how beginning ideas about patterns develop in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of measurement by applying research and developmental information to observations of and instructional activities for young children by planning developmentally and individually appropriate measurement experiences for young children.
  11. Describe how beginning ideas about patterns develop in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  12. Explain how children's literature can be used to support the developing pattern knowledge in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  13. Describe the patterns in children's daily lives and routines and recognize the existence and significance of culturally meaningful patterns.
  14. Explain the role of observation and assessment in early childhood mathematics education.
  15. Use observation and assessment information to plan and individualize mathematics experiences for young children.
  16. Describe ways to create mathematics learning environments and experiences to meet the individual needs of young children birth to five, including those with disabilities and other special needs and dual language learners.
  17. Describe strategies to nurture the home-school connection and ways for families to highlight math in a variety of activities with children.
  18. Explain the role of play in young children's early mathematical development.
  19. Describe specific ways that adults provide mathematically rich learning experiences that build on young children's developing knowledge and natural interests.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignment(s)

Weight

Discussions (Weeks 1-8) - This includes the Final Reflection.

40%

Written Assignments

30%

Midterm

10%

Major Project

20%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore

  • Copley, J. (Ed.). Mathematics in the Early Years. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1999. ISBN: 978-0-87353-469-7
  • Copley, J. (Ed.). Showcasing Mathematics for the Young Child. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2004. ISBN: 978-0-87353-555-7
  • Koralek, D. (Ed.). Spotlight on Young Children and MATH. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-928896-85-2

Additional Materials

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignment(s)

1

3

Topic: Introduction

  • Readings:
    • Early Childhood Mathematics: Promoting Good Beginnings (the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Shared Position Statement Assignments) http://www.naeyc.org/positionstatements/mathematics
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review the lecture material
  • Submit Assignment - Mathematics Autobiography

2

3,10

Topic: Mathematics and the Young Child: The Big Picture

  • Readings:
    • PowerPoint slideshow: Where's The Math?
    • Textbook:Showcasing Mathematics for the Young Child
      • Chapter 1, "Introduction," pp. 1–1 1
    • Textbook:Spotlight on Young Children and Math
      • "Encouraging Preschoolers' Emerging Mathematical Skills," pg. 28-33
      • "Math Is Everywhere," pg. 34-35
      • "More, All Gone, Empty, Full: Math Talk with Infants and Toddlers" pg. 49-51
    • Textbook:Mathematics in the Early Years
      • Chapter 5, "Ready to Learn: Developing Young Children’s Mathematical Powers," pg. 39-47
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review the lecture material
  • Submit Assignment - Where's the Math?

3

4-9

Topic: Numbers and Operations

  • Readings:
    • Handout: Infants and Toddlers Learning About Number and Operations
    • Textbook:Showcasing Mathematics for the Young Child
      • Chapter 2, “Number and Operations,” pp. 13–54
    • Textbook: Spotlight on Young Children and Math
      • “Developing Math Games Based on Children’s Literature,” pp. 14-18
      • “Choosing Books You Can Count On,” pp. 32-34
    • Textbook:Mathematics in the Early Years
      • Chapter 6, “The Development of Informal Counting, Number, and Arithmetic Skills and Concepts,” pg. 48–65
      • Chapter 13, “Making Connections: A ‘Number Curriculum’ for Preschoolers,” pp. 129-134
      • Chapter 11, “Supporting Students’ Ways of Reasoning about Patterns and Partitions,” pp. 112
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review the lecture material
  • Submit Assignment - Watch Children Count

4

4-9

Topic: Geometry and Spatial Sense

  • Readings:
    • Handout: “Infants and Toddlers Learning About Geometry and Spatial Sense”
    • Handout: “Two- and Three-Dimensional Shapes: Attributes and Properties”
    • PowerPoint slideshow: “Adult Learning Discussion: Triangle Task - A Geometry Problem”
    • Textbook:Showcasing Mathematics for the Young Child
      • Chapter 3, “Geometry,” pp. 55–88
    • Textbook:Mathematics in the Early Years
      • Chapter 7, “Geometric and Spatial Thinking in Young Children,” pp. 66–72, 76–77
      • Chapter 19, “Movement, Mathematics, and Learning,” pp. 169–174
    • Article: Reifel, S. (1984). Block construction: Children’s developmental landmarks in representation of space. Young Children, 40, 61-67
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the lecture material
  • Submit Assignment - Math at Home Family Newsletter

5

4-9

Topic: Measurement

  • Readings:
    • Handout:“Infants and Toddlers Learning About Measurement”
    • PowerPoint slideshow: “Adult Learning Discussion: Measurement Journal”
    • Textbook: Showcasing Mathematics for the Young Child
      • Chapter 5, “Measurement,” pp. 111–130
    • Textbook:Mathematics in the Early Years
      • Chapter 5, “Ready to Learn: Developing Young Children’s Mathematical Powers,” section on measurement, pp. 44–45
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the lecture material
  • Submit Assignment - Measurement Activity

6

4-9

Topic: Algebra Patterns

  • Readings:
    • Handout: “Infants and Toddlers Learning About Patterns”
    • PowerPoint slideshow:“Patterns”
    • Lecturette: “Finding the Math in Books: Highlighting Patterns”
    • Textbook:Showcasing Mathematics for the Young Child
      • Chapter 4, “Algebra,” pp. 89-110
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the lecture material
  • Submit Assignment - Finding Patterns in Books

7

2,10

Topic: Meeting the Needs of All Children

  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the lecture material
  • Submit Assignment - Individualizing Mathematical Experiences

8

1,2

Topic: Synthesis and Review

  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the lecture material
  • Submit Assignment - Future Teaching Practice
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies and the “Course Policies” link for specific policies related to this course. COSC Resources information regarding available COSC academic support services and resources.