Embracing Math

Embracing Math

Cultivating a Mindset for Exploring and Learning

Deanna Pecaski McLennan


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The unifying thread of this collection of math-related topics is that they are told from the perspective of an early childhood education teacher who initially was nervous about her ability to teach math to young children and her journey to becoming a more confident teacher of math.


Deanna Pecaski McLennan:
Deanna Pecaski McLennan, PhD, is a passionate early childhood educator, researcher, and writer from Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada who has spent over twenty years working with young children. As a teacher in Ontario’s Full Day Kindergarten program (equivalent to US preschool/prekindergarten) and a university instructor, she has devoted her research and practice to explore the potential for rich mathematics learning through playful inquiry and exploration. She appreciates looking at life through a mathematical lens, and recognizes opportunities for authentic, complex engagement in all experiences children have while at school. Deanna is also a mom to three children and knows firsthand the importance of supporting and improving their confidence, fluency, and accuracy in mathematics. She considers herself a life-long learner and has spent the last several years transforming her classroom into a safe and supportive space where children can take risks without the use of rigid programming, rote practice or worksheets. Deanna believes that educators benefit from sharing their journeys with one another and actively uses reflective writing, technology, and social media to connect with others from around the world. Part of Deanna’s journey has involved writing extensively for NAEYC and publishing articles in Young Children and Teaching Young Children. She is a passionate advocate who feels deeply that the investments we make in the lives of young children benefit our society tremendously over time. Deanna uses her writing and large social media following to provoke conversations about the role math plays in emergent programs, and how educators can cultivate children’s mathematical mindset while still honoring their interests, strengths and needs.