Practice Guide iconPractice Guide
This practice guide provides five recommendations for teaching math to children in preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common roadblocks. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared toward teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to build a strong foundation for later math learning.
1

Teach number and operations using a developmental progression.

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2

Teach geometry, patterns, measurement, and data analysis using a developmental progression.

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3

Use progress monitoring to ensure that math instruction builds on what each child knows.

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4

Teach children to view and describe their world mathematically.

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5

Dedicate time each day to teaching math, and integrate math instruction throughout the school day.

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Related Resources:
Topics: Grades: Education Levels:
  • Prekindergarten
  • Elementary
Audience:
  • Administrators
  • Parent/Family
  • Teacher

This practice guide was prepared for the WWC by Mathematica under contract ED-IES-13-C-0010.

The following research staff contributed to the guide: Cay Bradley, Elizabeth Cavadel, Julia Lyskawa, Libby Makowsky, Moira McCullough, Bryce Onaran, and Michael Barna.

  • Douglas Frye (Chair)
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Arthur J. Baroody
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Denver
  • Margaret Burchinal
    University of North Carolina
  • Sharon M. Carver
    Carnegie Mellon University Children’s School
  • Nancy C. Jordan
    University of Delaware
  • Judy McDowell
    School District of Philadelphia
Guide
By the Numbers: Five Recommendations for Teaching Math to Young Children
November 1, 2013

New to the WWC practice guides? This six-pager provides an overview of essential features. Take a quick look at the recommendations. Review action steps, examples, and teaching tools.
Video
Early Childhood Math: Number and Operations
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This REL Central video focuses on actionable strategies to increase the quality of math instruction in children's early years. Dr. Douglas Clements presents this brief discussion delving into the key ...
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Early Childhood Math: Questioning Strategies
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This REL Central video focuses on actionable strategies to increase the quality of math instruction in the early years and to improve general language and broad cognitive competencies for learners. Dr...
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Early Childhood Math: Questioning Strategies
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This REL Central video focuses on actionable strategies to increase the quality of math instruction in the early years and to improve general language and broad cognitive competencies for learners. Dr...
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Teaching Math to Young Children - Introduction
August 28, 2015

This bridge event webinar, "Teaching Math to Young Children," was hosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest on April 15, 2015. The webinar presents an overview of the What Works Cl...
Video
Teaching Math to Young Children - Main Presentation
August 28, 2015

This bridge event webinar, "Teaching Math to Young Children," was hosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest on April 15, 2015. The webinar presents an overview of the What Works Cl...
Video
Teaching Math to Young Children - Reflections
August 28, 2015

This bridge event webinar, "Teaching Math to Young Children," was hosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest on April 15, 2015. The webinar presents an overview of the What Works Cl...
Video
Teaching Math to Young Children - Reflections
August 28, 2015

This bridge event webinar, "Teaching Math to Young Children," was hosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest on April 15, 2015. The webinar presents an overview of the What Works Cl...
Video
Language, Discussion, and Questions in Early Math
May 9, 2018

This recorded webinar presents research-based strategies that support early childhood language development and mathematical thinking through posing rich mathematical questions. Douglas H. Clements, Ke...
Video
Two Strategies to Help Your Child Learn to Love Math
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When families cultivate children's natural curiosity about numbers and shapes, they can help them develop a lifelong love of math-which can lay the foundation for academic success. This short video by...
Guide
Teaching Math to Young Children for Families and Caregivers
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These resources and activities highlight research-based and easy-to-follow steps to help parents and caregivers support young children's math skills.
Guide
Teaching Math to Young Children for Families and Caregivers
July 1, 2020

These resources and activities highlight research-based and easy-to-follow steps to help parents and caregivers support young children's math skills.
Video
Early Childhood Math: Dedicate and Integrate Daily Math Instruction
September 17, 2020

This video focuses on actionable, research-based strategies to increase the quality of math instruction in children’s early years. Dr. Douglas Clements presents methods for teachers to use progress mo...
Video
Early Childhood Math: Use Progress Monitoring to Build on What Children Know
September 17, 2020

This video focuses on actionable, research-based strategies to increase the quality of math instruction in children's early years. Dr. Douglas Clements presents methods for teachers to use progress mo...
Infographic
Evidence-Based Recommendations for Remote Math Instruction in the Secondary Grades
October 1, 2020

This infographic provides examples from three practice guides about secondary school instruction in math that can be implemented for free or at a low cost in remote learning settings.
Infographic
Evidence-Based Recommendations for Remote Math Instruction in the Secondary Grades
October 1, 2020

This infographic provides examples from three practice guides about secondary school instruction in math that can be implemented for free or at a low cost in remote learning settings.
Infographic
Evidence-Based Recommendations for Remote Math Instruction in the Elementary Grades
October 1, 2020

This infographic provides examples from three practice guides about elementary school instruction in math that can be implemented for free or at a low cost in remote learning settings.
Webinar
What Works: Evidence-Based Math, Reading & Writing Tips for In-Person & Remote Instruction
July 1, 2021

What Works Clearinghouse released a webinar for educators on evidence-based practices to support math, reading, and writing instruction, as well as instructional resources to share with parents and ca...
Reference
What Works: Evidence-Based Math, Reading & Writing Tips for In-Person & Remote Instruction
July 1, 2021

What Works Clearinghouse released a webinar for educators on evidence-based practices to support math, reading, and writing instruction, as well as instructional resources to share with parents and ca...
Reference
What Works: Evidence-Based Math, Reading & Writing Tips for In-Person & Remote Instruction
July 1, 2021

What Works Clearinghouse released a webinar for educators on evidence-based practices to support math, reading, and writing instruction, as well as instructional resources to share with parents and ca...

The practice guide is accompanied by supplemental resources, including a practice guide summary and quick overview for understanding the guide. The guide is also available in e-book format. Click below to access any of the available resources.

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