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  • [music]

  • >> DR. JEFFREY TRAWICK-SMITH: When you think

  • of teaching math concepts to preschoolers, you may think of counting exercises or other

  • explicit number activities. But new research from the Center for Early Childhood Education

  • at Eastern Connecticut State University suggests that a lot of math learning occurs within

  • the context of classroom play, especially when teachers are talking with children about

  • how to solve problems involving number.

  • >> Teacher: Want to help me count? >> Child: One, two, three, four, five.

  • >> Teacher: Five.

  • >> DR. SUDHA SWAMINATHAN: Research has shown that number sense is very critical

  • in preschool and children are actually developmentally tuned in to learn number sense in preschool.

  • The more you talk about numbers to children, the more they learn numbers.

  • >> Teacher: How long do you want the tape? >> Child: Forty hours.

  • >> Teacher: Forty hours? Or forty pieces? >> Child: Forty pieces.

  • >> Teacher: Forty pieces? Ok, how many pieces do you have there?

  • >> Child: One. >> Teacher: There's one.

  • >> CYNTHIA DEJESÚS (Teacher): I find myself trying to math talk in every center that I'm

  • in, even at the snack table. How much more juice do you need?

  • >> Child: Lot. >> Teacher: A lot more?

  • >> Child: Yeah. >> Teacher: To make it equal with the water?

  • >> Child: Yeah. >> Teacher: Let's see.

  • >> CYNTHIA DEJESÚS: How many children are in the block area? Is there space for you?

  • So just casually using it throughout the day.

  • >> Teacher: Snack and THEN blocks. >> Child: And then finish my picture

  • >> Teacher: That's three things!

  • >> Teacher: She said snack, THEN blocks, and THEN finish picture. She told me three things

  • she will do today.

  • >> DR. JEFFREY TRAWICK-SMITH: If teachers use rich language about math or if they encourage

  • children to kind of talk to themselves or to others about mathematics, they'll learn

  • more concepts.

  • >> Teacher: How big do you think his house needs to be?

  • Child: Um, bigger than it wants to be. Teacher: Ok.

  • >> CYNTHIA DEJESÚS: I try to engage children using math talk casually, so just modeling

  • the language and the use of numbers: How many cuts do you need? Is it bigger; is it smaller?

  • >> Teacher: How will you know if he fits in there?

  • >> Child: He fits in there like this. He just...I just stick him in the hole.

  • >> Teacher: Alright. Does he fit? Let's try.

  • >> Teacher: Do we need to make the house a little bigger?

  • >> Child: mmm...yeah.

  • >> DR. TRAWICK-SMITH: When teachers either ask questions of children, they encourage

  • them to talk about their mathematical thinking or how they solve mathematical problems that

  • they also promote mathematical competence.

  • >> DR. SUDHA SWAMINATHAN: Math communication is not actually part of the curriculum in

  • many other cultures. There's a lot of DOING math; there's not as much TALK in math.

  • We found communication [related to mathematics] was significantly important for children.

  • >> Child: Tape more. >> Teacher: More tape? How much tape do you

  • think you'll need? How long do you want your piece of tape?

  • >> Child: Long, long, long >> Teacher: You tell me how long. You tell

  • me when to stop.

  • >> DR. TRAWICK-SMITH: Engaging children in discussions and activities around numberwhether

  • it be counting or judging amounts or how many spaces to move in a gamethose kinds of

  • interactions are very useful for promoting math learning.

  • >> Child: Piggy! >> Teacher: What number do I need to get to

  • the pig? >> Child: Um...one.

  • >> Teacher: You think one? Ok, let's see. >> Child: No.

  • >> Teacher: What did I get? >> Child: One, two.

  • >> Teacher: Two. Ready? Count with me. Together: One, two.

  • >> Teacher: I DID get to the piggy!

  • >> DR. SUDHA SWAMINATHAN: For teachers to encourage children to talk about say a wrong

  • answer, to talk about a misconception, to talk about a failed reasoning, those are all

  • very, very valid.

  • >> Cameron: One, two, three, four. >> Cynthia: Four?

  • >> Cameron: I wanted the cow. >> Cynthia: You wanted the cow? Well, you had six

  • >> Cameron: Ok, one, two..

  • >> CYNTHIA DEJESÚS: You really can see how you can incorporate it everywhere. It becomes

  • part of your classroom lingo and part of your classroom language.

  • >> Teacher: How many more do you need to add? >> Child: One, two, three, four, five, six.

  • [music]

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Using Math Talk to Support Learning

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    Pedroli Li posted on 2016/03/28
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