Counting 1,2,3...Early Mathematics

Young children encounter important mathematics experiences in natural settings where they are encouraged to play, interact, follow their interests, and build on their existing knowledge. Research has shown that early mathematics skills, especially related to counting, are linked to later academic achievement, even more so than early literacy skills (Duncan et al., 2007).

Children LearnChildren Learn Through Play

The early math team explores ways that young children actively construct number word sequences and counting schemes. These opportunities usually present themselves in the context of play, where children engage in counting and interacting with physical materials. To support these opportunities, we take advantage of children’s natural activities and explore ways to adapt them for specific learners.

Teachers Learn by ListeningTeachers Learn Through Listening

We believe that as early childhood teachers come to better understand children’s ways of thinking through active listening, they can respond during play to maximize children’s learning opportunities. AIMS teacher-researchers work side by side with local early learning teachers, helping them to recognize mathematical opportunities for learning and adapt their instruction to value children’s mathematics. The Early Math Team at the AIMS Center advocates for play-based experiences that lead to meaningful mathematics learning.

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Paul Reimer – Senior Researcher — (559) 453-8140

Paul ReimerPaul Reimer is a Senior Researcher with the AIMS center. Paul has spent more than 20 years in public education as an elementary teacher, mathematics coach, and adjunct university instructor. Drawing from a perspective grounded in situated learning and constructivism, his work has helped teachers of mathematics develop a reflective practice that centers on the cultivation of meaning-making opportunities in the classroom. As a current doctoral student in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University, Paul’s research focuses on the work of teaching, with an emphasis on how teachers of mathematics develop knowledge, beliefs, identity, and practice in the context of their work. He is particularly interested in factors that support teachers’ learning and enactment of mathematical teaching practices, and in the ways school culture and policy can support teacher change.

Elizabeth Gamino – Research Associate — (559) 453-8120

Elizabeth GaminoElizabeth Gamino is a Research Associate. Elizabeth joined the Early Learning Math team here at the AIMS Center after a 24-year career with Fresno Unified School District where she served as the Pre K-12 Mathematics/Science Curriculum Manager, an elementary teacher, staff and curriculum developer, and teacher on special assignment working in the Mathematics Department. Elizabeth is an active participant in both the math and early learning communities, she is a member of the California Math Council, NCTM, TODOS, NAEYC, and CAEYC. Additionally, she has worked closely with the Council of Great City Schools serving on their Mathematics Advisory team, their Bilingual Education, Key Performance Indicators, and Innovative Professional Development committees. Currently, Elizabeth serves on The Children’s Movement School Readiness work group and is a board member for Stone Soup Fresno. Elizabeth is an advocate for equitable and quality mathematical experiences for all children beginning with our youngest learners.

Wilma Hashimoto – Research Associate — (559) 453-8102

Wilma HashimotoWilma Hashimoto is a Research Associate specializing in Early Learning. Her experience includes being an Assistant Superintendent for Fresno Unified School District, Director of Early Learning for Fresno County Office of Education, and Assistant Director of Child Development for Clovis Unified School District. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Fresno Pacific University. Wilma holds a Masters degree from Fresno State and a Bachelor degree from the University of Southern California. She has served as a commissioner for First 5 Fresno County and board member for the San Joaquin Parkway Trust, CASA, and Stone Soup Fresno. For her community and educational contributions, Wilma was named a 2011 finalist for Fresno County Administrator of the Year, Marjaree Mason Top 10 Professional Women in 2009, and CUSD 2008 Crystal Award winner. Wilma is dedicated to changing the trajectory of our youngest learners through mastering early mathematical skills that will positively impact all curricular areas.

Aileen Rizo – Research Associate — (559) 453-8115

Aileen RizoAileen Rizo is a Research Associate for the AIMS Center. She has worked in math education for 20+ years in roles such as teacher, curriculum designer, and educational consultant. She has also served in state capacities with the California Department of Education and community organizations. Aileen earned a Bachelors degree in Secondary Mathematics Education, a Masters in Educational Technology, a second Masters in Mathematics Education, and is currently a PhD student. She is an adjunct faculty member at FPU teaching both math and engineering courses. Aileen’s passion in the STEM fields fueled her to realize the importance of providing children with powerful educational experiences. Her own daughters inspire her advocacy for the equity of women and girls and her current work with the early math team in an effort to bring equitable math experiences to young children.

Jaclyn Russell – Research Associate — (559) 453-8123

Jaclyn RussellJaclyn Russell is a Research Associate for the Early Mathematics Team at the AIMS Center. Jaclyn started her educational career in the Clovis Unified School District in 2010. She was an intervention teacher for grades ranging from Transitional Kindergarten to sixth grade, she taught kindergarten for five years, was the coordinator for the ASES afterschool program and was part of a two-year math camp. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Fresno State, with a concentration in mathematics, holds her Multiple Subject teaching credential, and is currently completing her MA in STEM education at Fresno Pacific University. Jaclyn’s love for learning is fostered by her own children’s love of exploring, creating, and learning through experiences. Jaclyn’s passion is to promote and encourage teachers to create a solid foundation for kids, starting with the early childhood education through research and the desire to help teachers build our future by empowering children to love learning.