Activities for the 2007-2008 School Year at The University of New Mexico
- Mathematical Problem Solving and Language Development in Bilingual Primary Grade Classrooms
Researchers: Mary Marshall, Sylvia Celedón-Pattichis, Sandra Musanti
This longitudinal project focuses on exploring the development of Latino primary (K-2) grade students in mathematical discourse and problem solving while providing ongoing classroom-based support to teachers to further their understanding of how to improve students’ problem solving strategies and mathematical thinking in their first language. The research question guiding this study is: What is the nature of the development of Latino/a primary grade students’ mathematical understanding and language use in a classroom setting? Data are collected on a purposefully selected group of eight focal students, two boys and six girls. Data collection involves: (a) pre and post student assessments in the form of individual videotaped clinical interviews where students are asked to solve CGI word problems using manipulatives or paper and pencil and to explain their solutions; (b) weekly field notes record focal students’ words and actions during mathematics lessons and their written work.
- Language and Mathematics Problem Solving: Exploring the Complexities of Bilingual Teachers’ Growth
Researchers: Sandra Musanti, Sylvia Celedón-Pattichis, and Mary Marshall.
The purpose of this study is to deepen the understanding of K-5 bilingual teacher professional development in the subject area of mathematics. The goals are: (a) to explore the impact of a classroom-based professional development approach that focuses on furthering bilingual teachers’ understanding of K-5 Latino students’ problem solving strategies and mathematical thinking in their first language, Spanish; (b) to foster teacher understanding of how instruction can promote mathematical learning. Using a Cognitive Guided Instruction framework, researchers and teachers collaborate to design and implement math problem solving lessons, they gather to debrief after each lesson, and participating teachers attend monthly workshops. Data collection involves videotaping of mathematics lesson and workshop sessions, field notes from classroom observations, and audio recording of debriefing sessions and teachers’ interview.
- The Role of Principal Leadership in the Implementation of Mathematics Reform Curriculum in Latino/a Communities
Researchers: Barbara Trujillo
This is a pilot study that explores five to seven intermediate and middle school principals’ beliefs about their leadership roles in the implementation year of a reform mathematics curriculum in a predominantly Latino/a district. The research questions guiding this study are: What are administrators’ perceptions of their leadership roles in the implementation of a reform mathematics curriculum, particularly in schools with high populations of Latino/a learners? How do administrators’ understandings and beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning contribute to supporting teacher best practices pedagogically, both in terms of mathematical understanding and language? The main source of data collection are in depth interviews with 5-7 intermediate/middle school leaders from the same school district.
- Middle School Assessment Project
Reseachers: Rick Kitchen, Berenice Castellon, Laura Burr
The research questions guiding this study are: (1) What do students understand well and what are their mathematical “gaps” particularly with regards to the mathematical standards they are studying in 6th grade? (2) How can what we learn from these assessments of students’ understanding/misconceptions inform classroom instruction? Research Design: Pre-assessment instruments will be administered prior to instruction of particular units from the Connected Mathematics Program 2 in a 6th grade classroom with a high concentration of ELLs. These instruments are aligned with the key ideas/standards being taught in the unit (e.g., questions that get at students’ understanding of fractions at beginning of Bits & Pieces I). In addition, on-going assessments will be administered to learn about students’ mathematical knowledge. Data will be analyzed and decisions made about how students’ knowledge or lack of knowledge should inform instruction.
- Borderlands Research Collaboration between UNM and Arizona
Reseachers: Jesus Acosta, Rick Kitchen, Marta Civil, Guadalupe Lozano
UA and UNM are continuing a research study investigating Latino students’ access to opportunities to learn challenging mathematics in Mexican and U.S. schools. Classroom observations using a 5-point Likert scale as well as teacher, student and parent interviews were conducted in Mexico last spring and will continue this year. One goal of this study is to compare the mathematics experiences that Latino students, parents and teachers have in Mexico and in the U.S.