Watching M5 in Action: Five Core Early Math Teaching Practices 

Educators play a significant role in supporting young children’s mathematical learning. They can provide a mathematically rich environment and nurture children’s natural interest in learning mathematics. Based on educator’s understanding of individual children’s development, they can engage children in meaningful math learning experiences and model the language of math, whether in English or their home language. In this session, we will use video examples to explore five core early math teaching practices: Mutual learning, Meaningful math interactions, Math language, Materials and learning environment and Multiple experiences. We refer to these as M5 Early Math Practices. As part of the California Statewide Early math initiative, WestEd developed four video guides to promote teachers’ use of the M5 Early Math Practices with different age groups (infants, toddlers and preschoolers). Each video guide provides educators with a process to learn about the M5practices, watch a video that illustrates M5 in action, examine and explain how M5 practices are illustrated in the clip, reflect on their own practice and the implementation of M5 practices within their own settings. We will introduce the four video guides and discuss ways early math trainers and coaches can use them to build educators’ early math teaching practices. 

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Osnat Zur 

Osnat Zur is the director of the Early Childhood Learning and Development area at WestEd. Dr. Zur co-directs the evaluation of the California Statewide Early Math Initiative and leads the WestEd’s collaboration with the Exploratorium on the STEAM Starters project. Previously at WestEd, Dr. Zur served as the Project Director of WestEd's partnership at the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning. She also served as a lead researcher and author for the California preschool foundations in the domain of science, and for the state's preschool curriculum framework in mathematics and in science. Dr. Zur is a developmental psychologist, with expertise in children's cognitive development, focusing primarily on the development of mathematical and scientific reasoning. She received a BA in psychology and a doctorate degree in developmental psychology, both from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). 

Sophie Savelkouls is a Research Associate at WestEd. Dr. Savelkouls is a developmental psychologist with expertise in children’s cognitive development, focusing primarily on the development of number sense. Currently, she contributes to the evaluation of the California Statewide Early Math Initiative. She leads evaluation tasks, has collaborated in writing several early math research briefs for educators on children’s early math skills and concepts, and developed video guides on effective practices for the ECE workforce. Prior to joining WestEd, Dr. Savelkouls conducted research on children’s understanding of number and math (birth through age 5) and published her research in peer-reviewed journals. She presented her findings at numerous conferences and took part in an international research consortium addressing best practices in developmental psychology research. She received a BS in psychology and child development from Tufts University and a PhD in developmental psychology from Boston College.

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Sophie Savelkouls