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Title: Engaging preschoolers in data collection and analysis with manipulatives, body movement, and digital technology
This workshop will focus on how to teach data collection and analysis to preschoolers. Our project aims to promote preschoolers’ engagement with, and learning of, mathematics and computational thinking (CT) with a set of classroom activities that engage preschoolers in a data collection and analysis (DCA) process. To do this, the project team is engaging in an iterative cycle of development and testing of hands-on, play-based, curricular investigations with feedback from teachers. A key component of the intervention is a teacher-facing digital app (for teachers to use with students on touch-screen tablets) to support the collaboration of preschool teachers and children in collecting data, creating simple graphs, and using the graphs to answer real-world questions. The curricular investigations offer an applied context for using mathematical knowledge (i.e., counting, sorting, classifying, comparing, contrasting) to engage with real-world investigations and lay the foundation for developing flexible problem-solving skills. Each investigation follows a series of instructional tasks that scaffold the problem-solving process and includes (a) nine hands-on and play-based problem-solving investigations where children answer real-world questions by collecting data, creating simple graphs, and interpreting the graphs and. (b) a teacher- facing digital app to support specific data collection and organization steps (i.e., collecting, recording, visualizing). This workshop will describe: (1) the rationale and prior research conducted in this domain, (2) describe an intervention in development focused on data collection and analysis content for preschoolers that develop mathematical (common core standards) and computational thinking skills (K-12 Computational Thinking Framework Standards), (3) demonstrates an app in development that guides teacher and preschoolers through the investigation process and generates graphs to answer questions (NGSS practice standards), (4) report on feedback from a pilot study conducted virtually in preschool classrooms; and (5) describe developmentally appropriate practices for engaging young children in investigations, data collection, and data analysis.  more » « less
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Early Childhood STEM Conference
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National Science Foundation
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