Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.aamt.edu.au
Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Young students often struggle with abstract concepts in mathematics, causing primary teachers to continue to search for ways to help teach such concepts. "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics" (NCTM, 2000) recommends using concrete models and physical materials before moving on to more abstract ideas. However, some children still have difficulties understanding concepts even with the help of manipulatives. How can teachers supplement the use of manipulatives to help boost children's understanding in mathematics? Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde (1998) recommend that students discuss, write, read, and listen to mathematical ideas in order to deepen their understanding of difficult concepts. Using storytelling as a catalyst to mathematics instruction is one enjoyable and versatile method to do just this. This article describes how storytelling can be used to introduce difficult mathematics concepts to students in primary classrooms and includes a vignette from two researchers. This story and others like its offers creative options to help children understand mathematics better.