Carne Barnett Clarke, WestEd
Thomas Hanson, WestEd
Abstract: This poster presentation will provide an overview of the Math Pathways & Pitfalls (MPP) research project, which is in the first year. This four-year study will investigate MPP efficacy in elementary school settings that have a high ratio of Latinos and second language learners. The study will examine the impact of two out of eight MPP units on students' mathematics achievement as measured by standardized tests and project-designed tests criterion referenced to the content of each instructional unit. The impact of the MPP units on students' mathematical language development related to the content of each unit will be assessed using project-designed tests.
Math Pathways & Pitfalls takes the unique approach of not only fostering correct ways to represent and reason about mathematical concepts, but also explicitly calls students' attention to common pitfalls and misconceptions. MPP also provides assistance in helping students learn how to use mathematical vocabulary and symbols to present complete and coherent explanations orally and in writing, and to participate in mathematical discourse. The poster will provoke discussion about what kinds of mathematical language skills and knowledge students need to develop to have academic success and about how to capture their progress in this area through assessments or classroom observations.