Vahey, P. Lara-Meloy, T., & Moschkovich, M, Velazquez, G. (2010, in press). Representational Technology For Learning Mathematics: An Investigation of Teaching Practices in Latino/a Classrooms. To be included in the Proceedings of the 2010 International Conference of the Learning Sciences. Chicago, IL.
This paper explores representation and language-rich mathematics instruction in two classrooms with low-income Latino/a students. The two classroom teachers were part of a larger study investigating the use of SimCalc in middle school, and their classrooms had learning gains greater than the mean gains for the study overall. Prior analyses documented that these two teachers implemented exemplary classroom discourse practices: they engaged students in discussions with high intellectual work and showed high levels of responsiveness to student statements (Pierson, 2008). Such practices are consistent with both the research on representationally-rich mathematics environments, and instructional practices for students from non-dominant communities. We use transcript excerpts to illustrate these teachers’ practices in detail. We found that these two teachers enacted some similar practices, but they also had different teaching styles, different approaches to connecting representations, and different ways of supporting mathematical discussions.