Multiple Representations in Preschool Numeracy: Teaching a Lesson on More-or-Less

Alfredo Bautista, Malikka Habib, Raymond Ong, Anthony Eng, Rebecca Bull
page. 95~122 / 2019 Vol.13 No.2


Mathematics education researchers and curriculum designers have emphasized the importance of representations in fostering students’ mathematical learning. However, most classroom-based studies on representations have focused on primary and secondary levels, and there is limited literature on how preschool teachers integrate representations in regular classroom activities. This qualitative study illustrates specific ways in which preschool educators may utilize multiple representations to teach numeracy, thereby showing how theoretical ideas can be applied into practice. We analyze a lesson intended to help 4-5 year old children learn about the concept of more-or-less and about the process of determining differences between two quantities. After describing the structure of the lesson, we analyze the activities and pedagogical strategies employed by the teacher to achieve the intended learning objectives, with special emphasis on the mediation of representations as learning tools. Our ultimate goal is to encourage preschool educators to utilize multiple representations strategically within the context of whole-class and small-group activities.

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