Author Archives: Paul Reimer

Partnership

Our early math team is excited to be engaging with preschool teachers in thinking together about mathematics teaching and learning in preschool classrooms. One of the ways we have structured our work together is through the lens of partnership.

Think for a moment about what it means to work as a partner. What comes to mind? Can you think of partnerships you’ve been a part of? How would you characterize them?

We fully understand that each teacher, teacher aide, director, and researcher brings a set of understandings and experiences to this work. These differences –when acknowledged and valued– can contribute to a rich, fruitful interaction. Our goal is to forge a common agenda –one that makes use of the skills, expertise, and passion of all those involved.

In his book Unmistakable Impact, Jim Knight suggests that a partnership approach is an important way to think about working with others:

“Equality is central within any partnership. Partners do not decide for each other; they decide together. In a true partnership, one partner does not tell the other what to do; they discuss, dialogue, and then decide together. Partners realize they are one half of a whole, and in healthy partnerships they find that they are a lot smarter when they listen to their partner…when they recognize their partner as an equal” (p. 29).

This kind of partnership approach frames professional development not as training, but as professional learning with teachers. We look forward to learning together with our teaching partners and exploring ways to enrich the mathematical experiences of preschool children.

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Teaching is Listening

Last week, our Early Math Team here at the AIMS Center partnered with Fresno EOC Head Start to spend a day devoted to children’s mathematics. I had the privilege of sharing a few thoughts at the beginning of the day to help shape our time and work together over the coming year. In this keynote,… Continue Reading

Idea Generators

I just returned from two weeks of study at Michigan State University as part of my PhD program in Education. My study related to qualitative research purposes and methodologies. I gained experience in writing field notes, conducting interviews, collecting data, and describing and analyzing observations. Although much of this work requires taking notes, this is… Continue Reading

Telling Stories

Our early math team has just finished up our work at several preschool sites for this school year and we’ve been reflecting on our experiences thus far. In conversations with teachers about what we’ve learned and how this experience has deepened our understanding of children’s mathematics, we’ve told lots of stories about particular children that… Continue Reading

Traveling Practices

Our work as learners, educators, and researchers takes us into spaces where we encounter new ideas, people, and experiences. We may enter schools, classrooms, faculty lounges, community centers, or other places of learning where we hope to better understand the patterns of interaction among individuals we meet. While our attention may be on what we… Continue Reading

Oh, the Possibilities

Our early math team continues to explore what might be possible for young children in the context of number development and play. We recently designed a linear board game called “Frog Splash” to help preschoolers begin to count the hops of a frog as it nears a swimming hole. After trying this game with children,… Continue Reading

Play Can Be Hard Fun

In a previous blog post, I asked several questions related to the work of our early childhood mathematics team: What teacher knowledge is needed in order to enhance adult-child interactions and help children learn the most in play contexts? What experiences can support preschool teachers in deepening their knowledge of children’s mathematical thinking and the… Continue Reading

Making the Most of Mathematical Play

If you have been following our early math team’s work with three- and four-year-olds, you’ll know that we’re exploring the ways children develop knowledge and understanding in the context of mathematical play. We’re not interested in “social knowledge”, or the kind of knowledge that requires transmission from one person to another. Rather, we’re engaged in… Continue Reading

Playful Learning

The AIMS Center Research Division’s early math team is currently interviewing and videotaping 3 and 4 year olds in order to illustrate the developmental stages in learning to count that researchers have identified. We are specifically interested in collecting video clips that illustrate a child’s path in moving from one stage to the next. We… Continue Reading

Conversation

My work with the AIMS team began last month after 20 years in public education, first as an elementary teacher and later as a mathematics coach. I have spent a lot of hours in TK-12 classrooms, walking alongside teachers as they explored ways to make their classrooms places where authentic mathematics learning could happen. In… Continue Reading