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Implementing the NCTM standards in a third grade classroom

1 June 1998


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to answer the question: How does a third grade teacher implement the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards in her classroom? It also examines what mathematics text or curriculum the teacher uses. This research study paid close attention to the strategies the teacher used when trying to implement each standard. Evidence, in the form of students' worksamples, was also collected and analyzed. This research project was based on the work. of the NCTM and studies that suggest educators need to change the way mathematics has been taught in the past. Research shows that there have been new discoveries in this century that show how children learn and how math should be taught. Furthermore, technological advances demand that children today know more than was required of past generations. (NCTM, 1989) The participants in this study were third grade students and the teacher who attended a rural elementary school located in the Pacific Northwest. Information was collected by a variety of methods including observing and interviewing both the teacher and three students, and then conducting a survey among third grade teachers. I have provided pseudonyms for all participants to protect their rights to privacy and anonymity. Mter collecting data including field notes, interviews and survey responses, I found evidence supporting that the NCTM Standards were being implemented in the classroom. My research revealed that the teacher used various strategies to implement the standards on a daily basis. My research also revealed that the teacher put a lot of effort into her planning and followed the NCTM K- 4 Mathematics Workbook which encourages certain instructional practices. (NCTM 1992)


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