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Building Positive Math Mindsets

Approaching math with a positive mindset promotes impactful, meaningful learning for adults and children. In this breakout session, we will discuss how our mindsets are shaped by our environment and lived experiences. Using video and vignette examples, we will reflect on our own early math memories and how they might shape our thoughts and feelings about math. We will also share strategies for how to build our own or others' positive math mindsets. The resources shared in this session will be part of the California Statewide Early Math Initiative (CAEMI) online professional development suites.

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Madhu Govind Kapoor is a Research Associate at WestEd and contributes to content development and evaluation work for the California Statewide Early Math Initiative. Her areas of expertise include early childhood technology, teacher and family engagement around early STEM learning, and teacher professional development. Prior to joining WestEd, Dr. Kapoor has taught middle school math, developed early STEM curricula and professional learning resources, and conducted research on young children’s engagement with robotics and play-based computational thinking tools. She received a PhD in Child Study & Human Development from Tufts University. In her spare time, Dr. Kapoor enjoys dancing, crafting, traveling, and spending time with family.

Madhu Govind Kapoor

Jenine Schmidt is an Early Childhood Program Associate at WestEd. Schmidt holds expertise in early childhood development and culturally responsive pedagogy. Currently, Schmidt is developing early math resources to support professional learning providers throughout California. She also co-develops data collection protocols and gathers data directly from families in her role on a federally funded model demonstration project focused on supporting young children with delays and disabilities. She was the lead writer of a family engagement toolkit for educators who work with dual language learners. Her roles have also involved coaching state preschool family liaisons, developing materials that build the capacity of families to engage in children’s education at home and school, providing technical support to a family engagement program, and facilitating professional learning communities for preschool staff. At a private college, Schmidt taught graduate-level research methodology and led mixed-age laboratory preschool classrooms. Schmidt mentored preservice teachers in child development and learning theory, strategies for supporting children with special needs, anti-bias approaches to education, and reflective practice.

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Jenine Schmidt

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