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Professional Development

Early Math Initiative: Pre-K Mathematics Workshops for Supporting Children at Home & in the Classroom

Young children from low-income families tend to receive less support for mathematical development in their home and preschool environments compared to their middle-class peers. In WestEd’s Pre-K Mathematics Workshop, educators learn how to close this gap — not only through thoughtful instruction and exercises implemented in the classroom, but by coaching parents to facilitate fun and challenging math activities with their children at home. Learn more and participate in one of our workshops.

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What You Will Learn

Early childhood educators will learn about gaps in mathematical learning in young children from low-income backgrounds, compared to their middle-class peers, and how to close these gaps through use of instructional practices, classroom and home math activities, and materials.

Early education program staff will receive technical assistance on how to  sustain program-wide support for early math.

Specifically, workshop participants will:

  • Receive tools and learn strategies to effectively meet the early mathematical needs of students and families
  • Learn enhanced family engagement activities that help parents focus on their child’s mathematical development
  • Receive a hands-on approach to learning effective early math instruction through active participation
  • Learn how to implement the Pre-K Mathematics Curriculum aligned with the Head Start Framework, the Preschool Learning Foundations, and Common Core State Standards
  • Receive assistance in developing sustainability plans through continuous improvement strategies
  • Receive training and technical assistance in developing an effective professional development model, including on-site support

Service Details

Knowledgable WestEd trainers will demonstrate and provide hands-on experience with an early math curriculum, Pre-K Mathematics, which has been found by the U.S. Department of Education to be effective in preparing children for standards-based mathematics in kindergarten (see What Makes This Service Unique, below].

WestEd offers several types of workshops and training:

  • One-Day “Deep Dive” Trainings that focus on family engagement through the use of home activities (see below for an example of a Deep Dive activity)
  • Two-Day Workshops that focus on the first half of the Pre-K Mathematics curriculum and/or home activities; materials are available in English and Spanish
  • Four-Day Curriculum Workshops include training on the entire curriculum

Workshops take place at your designated site(s) and include an in-depth presentation by a professional development team, demonstration of classroom and/or home activities, and participant practice in small groups.

Materials for the curriculum and home activities are provided to you as part of workshop registration. Materials will be provided for all students in your classrooms. In addition, as part of the workshop, we will present research on the effectiveness of the Pre-K Mathematics curriculum.

Coaching is available following workshop completion to support participants’ implementation efforts.

Training and technical assistance in sustaining implementation via continuous improvement methods also are available.

Example of a Deep Dive Activity

An example of one activity, The Ladybug Game will help children to make a numerical match between two sets of dots of different orientation.

What Makes This Service Unique

The Pre-K Mathematics curriculum — the basis for this service — was created by WestEd researchers and developmental psychologists Prentice Starkey and Alice Klein through a rigorous and iterative design process. The curriculum was evaluated in randomized controlled trials and rated as effective by the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse.

Through a large validation study funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Investing in Improvement, WestEd developed an effective statewide training network that has been successfully implemented in a variety of early childhood settings, including large state preschool and Head Start programs in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

With federal funding, our team also developed a continuous improvement model to help programs sustain their implementation of Pre-K Mathematics within their local constraints. The math content in Pre-K Mathematics aligns well with state and federal preschool learning guidelines and standards such as the Head Start Framework and the California Preschool Learning Foundations. In addition, it can be used alongside the Creative Curriculum and the Desired Results Developmental Profile.

Visit Early Math Intervention and Early Math Initiative to learn more about these projects that serve as the basis for our workshops.


Pricing* for workshop participation is as follows:

  • $855 a day for 8 or fewer people; $285 for each additional day
  • $1,140 a day for 9–16 people; $570 for each additional day
  • $1,425 a day for 16–24 people; $855 for each additional day

These figures would increase by $285 for the addition of up to 8 people and would cap at roughly 40 attendees.

Receive these services for free by participating in the research phase of Early Math Initiative! Please contact our team for more information: Darrylon Evans at 310.467.9946 or; or Alison Paskal at 510.219.7719 or

*The prices above do not include billing for materials and travel.

Learn More

To learn more about this service, please contact Darrylon Evans at 310.467.9946 or; or Alison Paskal at 510.219.7719 or