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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET What Is Mathematizing?   9 The function, purpose, and goal of mathematizing have evolved over the years. Today it is an in-​depth process that integrates the wisdom of parents, teachers, mathematicians, artists, architects, engineers, neuroscientists, and linguists to develop innovative practices. The MLP approach functions as a curriculum and instruction design framework that helps teachers create meaningful learning experiences for children. Its main purpose is to develop students’ higher-​level thinking and linguistic skills through intentional and purposeful interactions. As teachers mathematize children’s daily learning experiences, students learn to see and think about the mathematics that exists within children’s contexts. This process helps children understand the role of math in their lives. It begins to instill in them a love of mathematics, thereby reaching the goal of developing mathematically confident and pro- ficient students. The process of teaching mathematics within real-​life contexts has proven to be quite difficult for many teachers who may feel a lack of confidence or a certain type of “math fear.” This anxiety towards math can be expected as teachers sometimes relate math knowledge to secondary-​or college-​level pro- cessing, which can be daunting. But, for the early childhood teacher, becom- ing a proficient mathematizing teacher simply means having the knowledge of the math content and processing that occurs at the age level of the children they are working with and then having the ability to implement quality math experiences within the context of children’s lives. The MLP approach frames the kinds of skills, knowledge, and processing a teacher needs to implement successful math experiences. The real-​life teaching experiences presented in this book can serve as models for learning. The resources provided can help lower the anxiety some teachers may feel when the topic of math arises. The book can promote the development of positive dispositions toward the teach- ing of mathematics in preschool settings. I often hear teachers say “math is everywhere” or “math is in everything,” and although these statements are true, to understand the patterns, relation- ships, and mathematical systems of the concepts inside the “everywhere” or “everything” is the challenge. I wrote this book to provide teachers with a systematic approach to creating and engaging children in rich mathemat- ical experiences. By rich I mean experiences that integrate great environ- mental settings, creative learning materials, and meaningful teacher/child interaction. Rich experiences focus on the mathematics that exists within the topics being explored or investigated by the children. The MLP approach components can help teachers see and interpret the math inside the “every- where” or “everything,” and support teachers as they develop curricula for their students. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL