Math Group Project

The link to our group interview is here.

Ryan, Toni, and I all worked with separate groups of kindergarteners on math problems assessing their number sense. The student I chose to focus on really enjoyed doing the math problems, and when they were done asked if I had “more math” for her to work on. Although she struggled with the problems as I stated in the interview, she made multiple attempts to solve each one. I found that tactile approaches worked best for her. She was able to reason her way to the answer more easily if she had a physical manipulative to make sense of the problem posed to her.

I think I had underestimated how important the physical representation of a math problem is for children the younger that they are. Abstract reasoning is much harder for younger children, and having concrete objects to represent concepts helps cement the problem in reality. My student did much better when I provided her with a physical shape to represent the cookie and allowed her to draw on it or fold it as she saw fit. In the future, I need to keep in mind that different grade levels require different approaches to thinking and understanding.

3 thoughts on “Math Group Project

  1. I never would have thought about abstract reasoning being something that would make math concepts difficult for students, but that makes sense after seeing how much easier it is for the student to solve the problem with physical objects.

  2. I really agree Taylor! I noticed that my students struggled with abstract thinking during our first visit. So I also utilized cookie models during my second visit. My students really loved having them to physically use. I also think it’s interesting how even within one grade level, especially kindergarten students will approach things much differently.

  3. I love the idea of using tactile objects to further learning! We are so used to abstract thinking, that sometimes it’s hard for us to remember that not everyone learns that way. I struggled through my second visit because the kids just weren’t grasping the concept, but I think that if I had some sort of object for them to touch and use would have helped them a lot!

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