Why Counting Counts: Developing Effective Teaching and Learning Strategies for Mathematics in Preschool

The Birth-Kindergarten Program at Western Carolina University sponsored a day-long preschool mathematics workshop for local early childhood educators and administrators and students. Dr. Kathy Fitzgerald from the University of Tennessee will lead the main session in the morning. Dr. Fitzgerald taught at the Henry Barnard Lab School in Rhode Island for almost 25 years. While there, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science. Dr. Fitzgerald is an early childhood education faculty member in the Department of Child and Family Studies at the University of Tennessee, teaching a variety of methods courses and coordinating practicum experiences for students. The main session, led by Dr. Fitzgerald, focused on what children are learning about: counting words, the results of counting, the process of counting and quantity and ways of representing quantity. The afternoon offered breakout sessions: children’s literature and the connection to mathematical learning, intentional math activities, and what preschool teachers need to know about the common core. Afternoon sessions were led by Dr. Lori Caudle and Mrs. Myra Watson, Dr. Kathy Fitzgerald, Mr. Ron Moss and Mrs. Brandi Stephenson. Approximately 50 participants attended the workshop from the following counties: Buncombe, Clay, Haywood, Henderson, Macon, Polk, and Swain Counties. The following schools and centers were represented:
Smart Start of Buncombe County, Asheville City Schools Preschool, Mountain Area Child and Family Center, Odyssey Community School, Community Action Opportunities, Bright Adventures Pre-K / Swain County Schools, HCC’s Regional Center for the Advancement of Children, ITC / Haywood Co Schools (Co. wide), Macon Program for Progress, Clay County Inclusive Preschool, Mud Creek Christian School, Tryon Elementary, First United Methodist Child Development Center, Hazelwood Elementary, Jonathan Valley Elementary, Haywood County Schools, Hazelwood Early Education and Preschool.