The Math for Early Childhood Symposium was held, May 9 2013, at the College of Staten Island. It culminated the week long Mathematics Connections Conference, sponsored by the College’s Education Department. The symposium and conference were initiated by Dr. Judit Kerekes chairperson, Department of Education/ Mathematics. The forum was developed to demonstrate the meaningful innovations and practices that can be used to convey mathematical teaching in early childhood curricula.
Early Childhood graduate candidates Chaquita Crowder, Daniella Bulkin and Chad Farley, presented alternative mathematics’ strategies, to support comfort and accessibility for all students regardless of their economic status. Ms. Crowder stated, “growing up, I did not have access to many of the tools available”, Mr. Farley demonstrated how ordinary items, such as M & M’s or pizza, can be used to drive math instruction.
Dr. Ralph Grant, Vice President of Pillar College, one of the evenings guest speakers, emphasized his mantra of teaching tenets, “Don’t be petty”,” trust teachers’ abilities to teach”, “don’t get bogged down in details”, and most important (to teachers), inspire confidence in students, even if it is as simple as saying, “you’re wearing a nice shirt today”.
Additional guest speakers included, Richard Ianuzzi, President of the Statewide Teachers Union, Maria Neira, V.P. NYSUT, Iris DeLutro, Senior Coordinator, and Leap to Teacher Programs at CUNY Murphy Institute.