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Julie Sarama

“Teachers are the key to academic achievement for students.” This statement is widely accepted, but professional development in early childhood mathematics education faces a number of barriers. What are those barriers? What do teachers have to say about developing their own knowledge of the teaching and learning of mathematics? What should be done to address these problems? Answering these questions was the goal of a recent project funded by the National Science Foundation called “Planning for Professional Development in Pre-School Mathematics: Meeting the Challenge of Standards 2000.” This article shares some of the answers I found in the course of that project.

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Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama Meredith

What might be the role of using Logo in mathematics education, given the information in the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards (NCTM 1989) and the appearance of numerous new software packages? A recent rare interview with the Logo turtle may dispel some rumors and offer new insights into this question.

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Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama

In their Research Commentary, Kitchen and Berk (2016) argue that educational technology may focus only on skills for low-income students and students of color, further limiting their opportunities to learn mathematical reasoning, and thus pose a challenge to realizing standards-based reforms. Although the authors share the concern about equity and about funds wasted by inappropriate purchases of technology before planning based on research and the wisdom of expert practice, including inadequate professional development, they believe that Kitchen and Berk's commentary contains several limitations that could be misconstrued and thus misdirect policy and practice.

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Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama

When we talk about our prekindergarten curriculum development project,

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Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama

“I'm first today!” “Then I want to be second. You gotta be third, Joon.”

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Julie Sarama and Douglas H. Clements

Zachary's grandmother was walking him out of preschool. He looked at the tiled walk-way and yelled, “Look, Grandma! Hexagons! Hexagons all over the walk. You can put them together with no spaces!”

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Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama

This is the second in a series of articles exploring the use of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' (NCTM's) 2006 publication, Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence. The series introduction by NCTM President Skip Fennell, explaining what Curriculum Focal Points are and why NCTM developed them, appeared in the December 2007/January 2008 issue of Teaching Children Mathematics (page 315). In this and subsequent TCM articles, the authors of the various grade bands discuss the Focal Points for one or two grade levels. Because one principle of Curriculum Focal Points is that of cohesive curriculum, in which ideas develop across the grades, we encourage teachers of all grade levels to read the full series.

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Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama

If used properly, manipulatives can support the learning of mathematics and motivate students. The intelligent use of manipulatives takes advantage of their features, especially the extra features of computer manipulatives (Clements and McMillen 1996). The use of manipulatives must be integrated into a sound mathematical lesson. In this article, we present one example of an activity that capitalizes on the particular advantages of physical and computer pattern blocks.

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Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama

Atoddler, after some experimentation, puts a square peg into a square hole. What does she know about shapes? What more will she learn in preschool and elementary school. What might she learn?

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Douglas Clements and Julie Sarama

What position does Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM 2000) take on appropriate standards, goals, and activities for preschoolers? This article is a sample of the information from chapter 4, “Standards for Grades Pre-K–2,” which has been selected and annotated by the editors. Please read the chapter for the full story. You can find it on the World Web Web at standards.nctm.org.