Funded Projects

Research that shapes the future

The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families & Schools is an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Math Early On II

Project Information

Principal Investigator: Victoria Molfese
Co-Principal Investigator: Ruth Heaton, Jennifer Leeper Miller, Carolyn Pope Edwards
Funding Agency: Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Award Date:
Theme: Early Education & Development, STEM Education
Project URL: N/A

For more information please contact Victoria Molfese at


Math Early On II involves site-based professional development focused on mathematics for early childhood teachers of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Goals are to:

  • enhance mathematical knowledge and motivation of teachers;
  • strengthen teachers’ competence in teaching mathematics and integrating it across the curriculum and school day so teachers envision their mathematics instruction more accurately, with greater depth, and increased confidence;
  • increase mathematics teaching efficacy in the classroom and in interactions with families; and
  • increase children’s knowledge, skills and motivation in mathematics.
Each goal is addressed through professional development activities for site directors, supervising teachers, and classroom lead and assistant teachers. Activities typically are in three-hour sessions — three in the fall and four in the spring. Mathematics topics include sets, number sense, counting, number operations, shapes and patterns. While intensive professional development occurs across one year, ongoing work with teachers in their classrooms aims to accommodate instruction to the needs and cultural orientations of teachers, children and families.

Math Early On found that teachers have integrated ideas presented in the professional development into their own skill sets and shared their learning with colleagues. Math Early On II builds on initial work with teacher by offering a second year of professional development focusing in greater depth on mathematics concepts as components of book reading time, using documentation to illustrate teachers’ mathematical intentionality and children’s pride in their work, and about increasing communications with families about children engagement in classroom mathematics.