Making whole cloth: Integrating math in a primary grade classroom

Deborah Sascha Bakan, University of Pennsylvania


In a holistic classroom, the teacher engages in utilizing teachable moments and the everyday experiences of the children for the instruction of reading, writing and speaking. The underlying assumption is that children learn through being engaged in activities that are meaningful to them. The teacher uses these opportunities to engage in dialogic interaction that brings the experience to a more meta-cognitive level. If this is true in language learning, the question of whether this applies to mathematical learning arises. This study occurs in a vertically grouped first and second grade class. The study is reflective teacher research that looks at how a teacher can utilize the teachable moments in mathematical learning and integrate them into the curriculum. Through awareness of math in the everyday and bringing those aspects to the forefront the teacher and the students engage in conversation and exploration that contributes to math literacy. Teachable moments in a particular curricular area become more evident as the teacher becomes aware of the concepts needed to be taught. Consequently those moments occur through careful engineering by the teacher and are not random. By maintaining a dialogue with parents, non-tangible learning is unpacked and parents become more understanding of holistic teaching.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Language arts|Mathematics education

Recommended Citation

Bakan, Deborah Sascha, "Making whole cloth: Integrating math in a primary grade classroom" (2000). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3073083.