Presentation (Project) Title

How a Teacher’s Questioning Affects the Math Concepts Discussed During Play

Mentor Information

Ilene Berson (College of Education)

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Event

Abstract

Play is the premiere conduit of learning within early childhood education, acting as a vessel for the exploration of all content areas, including mathematics. Several studies suggest that teacher interaction and/or communication furthers children’s cognition, mathematics content learning, and play as a whole. However, few studies have investigated the specific effects of teacher questioning on the math concepts practiced during play, leading to the research question of this inquiry project: How does my questioning influence the math concepts practiced during play? A total of ten VPK children were observed through anecdotal records, photographs, and transcripts of video recordings in order to document their responses to teacher questioning during play. Teacher questioning about play, teacher questioning about math, the math standard addressed, student reflection on math/play, and student extension of the play scenario in relation to math were coded for analysis within the data collected. The findings are expected to indicate that teacher questions about play tend to extend the play scenario in relation to math, while teacher questions about math lead to self-reflection. This implies that the questions asked should mirror the goal. If a teacher wants children to reflect, they should ask questions about the math concepts being practiced in play. However, if a teacher wants children to extend their mathematical thinking within a play scenario, they should ask questions about the play. Future researchers should inquire about the influence of peers’ questioning/interactions on the complexity of mathematical thinking within play scenarios.

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How a Teacher’s Questioning Affects the Math Concepts Discussed During Play

Play is the premiere conduit of learning within early childhood education, acting as a vessel for the exploration of all content areas, including mathematics. Several studies suggest that teacher interaction and/or communication furthers children’s cognition, mathematics content learning, and play as a whole. However, few studies have investigated the specific effects of teacher questioning on the math concepts practiced during play, leading to the research question of this inquiry project: How does my questioning influence the math concepts practiced during play? A total of ten VPK children were observed through anecdotal records, photographs, and transcripts of video recordings in order to document their responses to teacher questioning during play. Teacher questioning about play, teacher questioning about math, the math standard addressed, student reflection on math/play, and student extension of the play scenario in relation to math were coded for analysis within the data collected. The findings are expected to indicate that teacher questions about play tend to extend the play scenario in relation to math, while teacher questions about math lead to self-reflection. This implies that the questions asked should mirror the goal. If a teacher wants children to reflect, they should ask questions about the math concepts being practiced in play. However, if a teacher wants children to extend their mathematical thinking within a play scenario, they should ask questions about the play. Future researchers should inquire about the influence of peers’ questioning/interactions on the complexity of mathematical thinking within play scenarios.