Children’s first—and often most powerful—teachers are the adults who are raising them. But parents and caregivers can think of themselves as “not good at math”, and shy away from playing an active role in helping their children learn fundamental math skills. The Institute for STEM Education has developed a project to support preschool families in becoming more confident and competent math teachers for their young children. The project, Funded by the Malavalli Family Foundation, provide monthly workshops in collaboration with the Helen Turner Children’s center, one of the state-funded preschools operated by Hayward Unified School District.
At the last workshop, the focus was on measurement with a focus on using mathematical language with young children. Adults constructed a simple balance to take home and practiced asking, “which is heavier?” and, “how many beans weighs the same as this?” This pilot is part of our efforts to develop scalable and replicable programs to improve the basic math skills of our youngest students, a strategy proven to increase retention and completion of high school and college matriculation.