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Back to Early STEAM Spring Seminar

The Brilliance of Children's Thinking Through Counting

Our session will address the power of counting in early childhood including the role of counting principles and how it can be bridged into problem solving. Considerations will include the types and attributes of collections, intentional questions that can be asked about a collection and how noticings we make about a student counting can help us ask better questions to move our instruction forward. We will also watch kids count to support our thinking around these important decisions.


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Jody Guarino

Jody is a teacher educator who supports teacher and student learning at the elementary level. She considers teaching and learning central to all of her work. Jody believes children, and adults, are sense makers and bring intuitive knowledge to their classrooms. Through the development of content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, knowledge for teaching, and understanding student thinking, her goal is for all students to be proficient. She has been a classroom teacher, district mentor, teacher on special assignment, and administrator. Working at district, state, and national levels, Jody has developed and implemented research-based professional learning with preservice and inservice teachers and administrators across the country. She has been involved in several research projects, understanding how teachers can learn to learn from mathematics teaching, investigating the use of video to support teacher learning, exploring professional learning that supports discourse and argumentation in elementary classrooms, and understanding and implementing school wide improvement initiatives in mathematics and english language arts. Jody works as manager of the Teaching and Instructional Leadership Learning Collaborative.

Sue identifies first and foremost as an advocate for childrens' thinking and providing them a voice in learning mathematics. Additionally she has a passion for learning alongside teachers to provide equitable and meaningful math instruction that position students at the center. She has been an educator for 15 years and has taught and coached across Tk-5th grade classrooms including Los Angeles Unified School District, El Segundo Unified School District as well as several other Orange County school districts. Sue has served as math facilitator for the UCLA Math Project and is an alumni mentor of the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching. Sue currently works as a math coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education of the Teaching and Instructional Leadership Learning Collaborative.

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Sue Kim

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Debra Mendez is a veteran TK and kindergarten teacher with more than 30 years of experience. Debra’s interest in CGI began three years ago with a school and district focus on training teachers in CGI. The early training focused on teachers’ understanding of children’s mathematical thinking and then using student thinking to guide instruction. This ignited Debra’s passion for using CGI in her classroom. For the past 3 years she has continued to participate in the training and collaboration provided for with Cotsen funds and a partnership with the University of California, Irvine. Her classroom has been a demonstration class for many TK and Kinder teacher CGI trainings. She continues to grow her expertise as she uses CGI strategies and Counting Collections in her classroom developing students’ understanding of real world math and number sense around counting, count sequence, cardinality and 1:1 correspondence.

Debra Mendez

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