1. Erin Turner
  2. Professor
  4. University of Arizona
  1. Julia Aguirre
  2. Associate Professor
  4. University of Washington Tacoma
  1. Mary Foote
  3. Queens College CUNY
  1. Amy Roth McDuffie
  2. Professor, Mathematics Education
  4. Washington State University

M2C3: Mathematical Modeling with Cultural and Community Contexts

NSF Awards: 1561274

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6

Mathematical modeling is a high-leverage topic, critical in STEM education and civic engagement. Modeling tasks invite students to investigate real-world contexts through a cyclical process of: (a) analyzing situations; (b) constructing models that represent the situation, based on information and assumptions; (c) using models to perform operations and reason about results; (d) validating or revising models; and (e) reporting conclusions. While considered a secondary content area, research has shown elementary students capable of engaging in mathematical modeling. In our project, we collaborated with elementary teachers from two different regions in the US to develop modeling lessons that build on students’ mathematical thinking (Carpenter et al., 1998) andtheir community-based knowledge and experiences (Civil, 2007). Through professional development and research, we have designed tools and activities that support teachers to develop and adapt modeling tasks that explicitly draw on children’s experiences. This video highlights several mathematical modeling tasks, including the Swap Meet task (students design a vendor booth for a community swap meet) and the Upcycling Jump Ropes task (students design a set of jump ropes, made by upcycling plastic bags, for physical education classes at the school). The video highlights both student and teacher perspectives on their experiences with mathematical modeling. Specifically, teachers describe deepened understanding and increased engagement, and the ways that children leverage mathematical knowledge, and every day experiences and practices to inform their engagement in each phase of the mathematical modeling process.


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