Author Archives: Jason Chamberlain
Narrator: “Last time on Meet the Children Where They Are: Has Mr. Unnamed nerdy-looking stereotypical math Research Associate (RA) found 5-year-old Bob’s zone of potential construction (ZPC)? Bob has counted 12 rocks and he came up with three different solutions.”
(from title screen — video of construction site with concrete truck backing up) (fade to videos of groups of rocks being arranged by hands) (math researcher narrates)
RA: After waiting for a few seconds to see what he would do, I said, “So, you came up with three different amounts: 12, 14, and 13. Which one is correct?” He said, “I’m not sure.” I said, “Which one do you think is correct?” He said, “I don’t know.” At this point, it looks like we’re stuck. So I made a desperate attempt to prompt him to reflect on his actions. “If you had to GUESS which is correct, which would you guess?” He quickly said, “12,” so I asked why he said that. Bob said, “Because I counted it.”
(still shot of satisfied look on Bob’s face with “Hallelujah Chorus” playing in the background) (camera zooms out as nerdy-looking stereotypical math Research Associate walks toward camera — reminiscent of a political spot)
RA: I thought that I would continue on to the additive situation. I asked him to count out two piles of rocks — one with 5 and one with 4 — and then asked him how many there were all together. He touched each rock in the pile of 4 and said, “6, 7, 8, 9,” with an emphasis on the 9. When I asked him how he knew to start at 6, he said that there were 5 in the first pile. So my next step was to hide one of the piles. Bob counted 7 rocks out into a pile, which I covered with my hand. I then asked him to make another pile with 4 rocks in it. Then I asked, “How many rocks all together?” He counted, “8, 9, 10, 11,” while pointing at each rock in the pile.
Wow! Did Bob just count on? OR, was Bob’s counting of the first collection so recent that he did not need to count it again? What would have happened if Bob had only been told that there were 7 rocks under my hand but had NOT counted them for himself? Would he still have counted on?
Narrator: “Tune back in for the fourth episode will determine where nerdy-looking stereotypical math Research Associate identifies what little Bob’s ZPC is. Don’t miss it!”
(dramatic orchestra music and fade to credit roll and out-takes)
Narrator: “Last time on Meet the Children Where They Are: Mr. Unnamed nerdy-looking stereotypical math Research Associate (RA) is down in the mud getting ready to do some math with an unsuspecting 5-year-old child named Bob. Can he find Bob’s ZPC without damaging the child for life? Let’s head back to the construction site where… Continue Reading
(fade out title screen — camera zooms out as nerdy-looking stereotypical math research associate (RA) walks toward camera — reminiscent of a political spot) RA: “Sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty!” You may have heard this phrase used from time to time. I was raised with this philosophy, and have found it… Continue Reading
It has been a lot of fun to get back into the classroom during the last few weeks! The Early Mathematics research associates have been interviewing students (3- and 4-year-olds) to see how they say the number word sequence, how they count objects, and how they subitize. These were our initial interviews from which we… Continue Reading
Why? Why do you go to work daily? Why are you good at what you do? Why are you reading this mathematics blog? Why are students engaged in some math lessons and not others? Why do some students do well in school while some fall behind? I’m going to leave you, the reader, to answer… Continue Reading