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Thank you to those able to attend the Institute!

Video now available!

Dr. Megan Franke sparked our awareness of the depth of children’s mathematical thinking with her keynote Everyone Can Count: Developing Children’s Partial Understandings. Her presentation was followed by research-informed workshops centered on application in daily work with children and families. The afternoon closed with information about early math professional development opportunities in Minnesota, including a progress report on the development of Minnesota’s Early Childhood Indicators of Progress in Mathematics.

This day was designed for those who teach preschool children, along with those who coach, mentor, and supervise teachers.

Thursday, November 17, 2016, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

North Star Ballroom, St. Paul Student Center, University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus


Photo of Megan Franke

Everyone Can Count: Developing Children’s Partial Understandings

How do we notice and see what students DO know about counting to support them to make progress in their skill and understanding? Partial understandings provide great opportunities. This session supported teachers to see and capitalize on students’ partial understanding.

Megan Franke is a Professor of Education at UCLA. Dr. Franke, along with her colleagues, supports and studies teachers as they make use of research-based information about the development of children’s mathematical thinking in ways that create opportunities for each student to learn mathematics with understanding.

Dr. Franke's book Young Children's Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction in Early Childhood Education provides additional early math strategies.


Keynote Video


View Keynote Video (53 minutes)


Closing Informational Session

Beth Menninga

View Informational Session Video (12 minutes)

pdf icon Handout: Revising Early Mathematics Standards in Minnesota (12 pages)



Workshop 1: Counting Collections

Preschool teachers are finding it very productive to have students count collections of objects. This session engaged teachers in learning about how to use Counting Collections in their settings to support a range of mathematical thinking. Examples of children counting collections and teachers’ classroom ideas were shared.

Presenter: Dr. Megan Franke, UCLA

Workshop 2: Examining the Math in Children’s Books

In this workshop, presenters and participants discussed the importance of shared reading in mathematics learning and explored the mathematics content of early childhood books, ranging from counting books to books without an explicit math focus. Participants identified which features of these books may support learning about number and math concepts and how these features inform the way we interact with books during shared reading.


Dr. Allison Bock, Postdoctoral Fellow, Early Math and Numeracy Lab, Institute of Child Development

Renée Meyer, MA Ed, PreK Master Coach and Trainer

Workshop 3: Making Math Add Up for Families: Supporting Early Math Skill Development through Family Engagement

Participants learned to improve and strengthen school/family partnerships and increase children's mathematical skills. Avariety of family activities and simple teacher-made math games were explored. Hands-on practice with materials sparked ideas to design culturally sensitive events for any program.

Presenter: Janet Jerve, Academic Program Specialist, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties

Workshop 4: Making More of Mathematics: Mathematics and Executive Function Skills

Executive function (EF) skills are foundational to learning and thinking about mathematics. But mathematics activities also provide opportunities to strengthen executive functions skills. This workshop concerned this bidirectional relation and provided examples of ways that preschool activities can be designed to enhance math and executive function skills (EF). The focus was on problem solving.

Presenter: Dr. Michèle Mazzocco, Professor at the Institute of Child Development, and Director of the Early Math and Numeracy Lab, at the University of Minnesota


Contact Beth Menninga at or 612-626-9393.


Funding for this event has been provided by the F. R. Bigelow Foundation, Mardag Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation. Project and Event Coordinator: Beth Menninga. Principal Investigator: Michèle Mazzocco.

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Last modified on February 21, 2013.