Building math vocabulary and math operations in a Montessori e1 classroom
This research explored methods to develop tools and systems that build math vocabulary and recognition of the type of math operations required according to problems posed in a lower elementary classroom. Participants in the research were members of a Lower Elementary classroom at a public Montessori elementary school in a small upper Midwestern city. The ages of the students ranged from age 6 to 9 years. The researcher, a Montessori teacher, developed tools and systems to build math vocabulary and recognition of math operations in an environment where the developing autonomy of students in completing learning tasks is valued. Data was collected through observation, daily math journals, a pre-test and post-test of math symbol recognition and math equation nomenclature and AIMS Web progress monitoring probes. The research showed that many students grew in their recognition of math symbols and equation nomenclature and also saw gains in their completion of math tasks on the progress monitoring probes. Research also found that students were reluctant to discuss their learning with one another and preferred conferences with their teacher. Further development will occur with modeling of math conversations.