Monday, September 27, 2010

Educators Making Sense of Number

We hosted our 3rd annual Educators' Open House this week. About 80 educators visited with Museum staff, toured our exhibits, and explored activities associated with our Learning Lab School Programs. In addition, participants received 1.5 CEU or CPDU credits by listening to an engaging and informative presentation by Angela Andrews, Associate Professor of Math Education from National Louis University. Her topic, Making Number Make Sense, reminded us that in order to develop math understanding, we have to help children and adults understand that math is "comprehend-able not magical!"

"Never miss an opportunity to count with children," Angela told us. "Research has shown that the higher they count, the more they comprehend number." From the beginning and through kindergarten, parents, teachers and caregivers should be counting forward with children. Surprisingly, in the Pre-K years it doesn't matter if numbers are mixed-up or skipped as children are counting forward. What's important is that they keep counting forward, as high as they can go. This helps to develop the mental number line children will need for higher level math thinking. When should we start counting backwards with children? How should children write numbers? When do they start learning their math facts? Learn these answers and more when you view excerpts from Angela's presentation, available on our website soon!

If you would like more teacher workshops related to art, math or science, then DuPage Children's Museum can help! As part of a cadre of experts in integrating developmentally appropriate art, math and science activities, Early Childhood Specialist Jayne Carpenter; Interdisciplinary Arts Specialist Marcia MacRae; Chris Barry, School Programs Manager; and expert play and school facilitators have traveled all over Kane, Cook, Will and DuPage Counties to conduct hands-on workshops for caregivers and teachers of children, infants through 4th grade. These workshops can be brought to your site or hosted here at the Museum. For more information about our workshops, please contact Margaret Hanly, Associate Director of Programs ( or Jayne Carpenter (

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