Date of Completion

Spring 5-6-2012

Thesis Advisor(s)

Catherine Little; Fabiana Cardetti; Tutita Casa

Honors Major



Education | Science and Mathematics Education


This qualitative research study investigated how centers were used in kindergarten math classes and students’ mathematical engagement and authority within centers in five classes field-testing the Project M2: Mentoring Young Mathematicians measurement and geometry units. Data were collected from three observations in each of the five classes as well as observations from trained professional development staff working on the field-test and teacher exit interviews. Results indicated that in four of the five classes two-thirds of the centers related to the unit objectives and students spent over 90% of time in unit related centers. There were a variety of centers using geometry and measurement activities to reinforce unit objectives that students engaged in across classes. The main mitigating factors were the number of adults, transitions between centers, hands-on centers, and writing centers. Results showed that providing students with mathematical centers related to the unit objectives can increase students’ mathematical authority in the classroom, giving students the opportunity to engage in the mathematics independently. Effective classroom management, a carefully designed and practiced center transition system, and one or two additional adults in the classroom promote the optimal student engagement and authority in mathematics.