Bilingual and Literacy Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

“They need to know they can do math”: Reaching for Equity through the Native Language in Mathematics Instruction with Spanish-speaking Students

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This study explores two K-1 bilingual teachers’ approach to mathematics instruction with Spanish-speaking students as they integrated contextualized problem solving into a reform curriculum and as they adapted instruction to meet the needs of Latino Spanish-speaking students. We draw from three bodies of literature: Cognitively Guided Instruction, the use of the native language as a pedagogical resource, and equity issues in mathematics. The data used was from a longitudinal qualitative study focused on a researchers’-teachers’ professional development collaborative. Data sources used included classroom observations, videotaped lessons, interviews, and a videotaped teachers’ conference presentation. Findings indicate that these teachers 1) prioritized students´ identity as mathematics learners by building confidence and awareness of their capabilities and 2) adapted the reform mathematics curriculum by integrating contextualized word problems to meet the needs of Latino students.


Copyright 2012 © Texas Association for Bilingual Education

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Journal of Bilingual Education Research & Instruction