Kindergarten Students' Exploratory Math Talk Within a Collaborative Discourse Community
Oklahoma State University, 2009 - 284 pages
Findings and conclusions. A central research finding was that the majority of exploratory talk was related to mathematics, specifically to number and operations. Other mathematical concepts were found to a lesser degree. A primary conclusion was that students relied on their understanding of number to solve problems. Additionally, analysis revealed students exchanging ideas with others, struggling to form their thoughts while speaking. These articulations were difficult to understand at times and were often accompanied by gestures and the use of fingers. As ideas were exchanged and challenged, the students' own thinking was modified, suggesting a deeper understanding of the concept. Supporting these exchanges was an evolving collaborative environment as evidenced by the social norms. The teacher acted as an inquiry guide, stepping in and out of the discourse to support the students' dialogue. The researcher concluded that exploratory talk promoted the construction of a collaborative discourse community ripe with mathematical learning.
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