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Children Count

Exploring What is Possible in a Classroom with Mathematics and Children

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Mary M. Stordy

Children Count is an interpretive exploration into the teaching of mathematics to children. Through the use of narratives to make meaning of particular pedagogic events, the book explores the possibilities that exist for children and for teachers if mathematics is allowed to thrive in schools as a living human enterprise. Such a re-conceptualized view of mathematics challenges the status quo and results in a different image of schooling. Children Count gives the reader a picture of what a classroom could look like when it includes creativity, inquiry-based learning, empowerment of children and teachers, academic rigor, holism, and integrated and generative curricula. The text captures the mistakes, choices, the actions, and the decision-making process of a teacher who reflects and learns from her students as she realizes she must listen to them because what they have to say counts.
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Chapter 8. Living with the Cover Version of Mathematics

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LIVING WITH THE COVER VERSION OF MATHEMATICS

You know, I don’t hate mathematics. I don’t love mathematics. I don’t know. I guess I just don’t really care about it. And I want to. I want children to care about the work they do.

—Kim, Elementary B Ed Student

Keeping the Difficulty Alive

It was a busy time during the 2004 school year in Ms. Kennedy’s grade-one class. From the doorway I could see that her twenty-six grade-one students were already working in clusters, dispersed throughout the crowded classroom. It was still winter outside of this suburban elementary school, so heavy coats puffed out the side-wall, expanding into the classroom and robbing Ms. Kennedy of space for her students’ activities. Under the jackets on separate hooks dangled matching snow pants, half of them knocked off their pegs and slumped on the floor, resting on the heater below. Abandoned mittens were scattered under the nearest group of desks. This classroom smelled like every grade-one classroom I had ever been in during the winter. Wet snow pants drying on heaters give off a distinct odor. It is not unpleasant, but anyone who has ever spent time in such a space knows what I mean. It was 9:15 a.m. A quick scan of the room did not immediately help me locate ← 95 | 96 → the student teacher, Ella, with whom I was spending time today as her field experience/practicum instructor...

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