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Playing with Math in Everyday Life

Mathematics is a natural part of children’s day-to-day activities and events, whether at home or in school. Daily experiences such as setting the table, stacking boxes, or sorting the laundry present numerous opportunities to support children’s math skills and concepts and to build their math vocabulary. Using video examples from the California Early Math Initiative, this session will discuss ways to raise the awareness of educators and families about naturally occurring opportunities for math in children’s everyday life.  It will also illustrate how adults can use such opportunities to promote children’s development of foundational math concepts such as quantity, number, size and shape. The participants will consider ways to support staff and families in their program to promote early math learning as part of children’s daily experience.


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Osnat Zur

Osnat Zur is a Senior Program Associate with the Center for Child & Family Studies at WestEd. She serves as Project Director of WestEd's partnership at the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning, and a lead evaluator of the California Statewide Early Math Initiative. Prior to her Project Director role at the national center, Zur had been leading content development for PD2GO, a collection of professional development modules developed for First 5 California designed to support continuous improvement in early childhood programs. Previously at WestEd, Zur served as the 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. She also developed assessment measures in cognitive development — math and science —for the Desired Results Developmental Profile instrument and for other school readiness instruments. 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). While at UCLA, Zur studied children's early counting and arithmetic reasoning. She also helped develop a preschool science curriculum and implement the curriculum at several sites of the UCLA Child Care Services.

Jennifer Marcella-Burdett is a Senior Research Associate at WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies. Dr. Marcella-Burdett currently co-directs the evaluation of the California Statewide Early Math Initiative. She is also a lead content developer for the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning, a project funded by Head Start to promote evidence-based practices that support positive child outcomes in early childhood programs. Before joining WestEd, Dr. Marcella-Burdett worked on research and evaluation projects studying young children’s early learning experiences within their homes and child care settings. Her research interests include evaluating programs and policies designed to improve the development and learning of at-risk children ages birth to five, such as home visiting and early childhood education. She began working in the field of early care and education as a teacher caring for infants and toddlers. Dr. Marcella-Burdett received a BA in psychology and an MA and PhD in human development and psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Jennifer Marcella-Burdett

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