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Students helping teach math

December 9, 2013
The Inter-Mountain

ELKINS - Davis & Elkins College education majors are exploring new ways to teach math to children and recently invited area kindergartners to their class to demonstrate how they learn.

Pre-service students used the play and guide discovery approach to help teach math concepts in their EDUC 316 Teaching Mathematics to Children (K-6) class led by Dr. Steve Creasey, chair of the D&E Department of Education.

The theory behind the approach is that when young children are exposed to and interact with materials, they begin to acquire knowledge about the underlying concepts of math.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Davis & Elkins College education students, clockwise from left, Kayla Petrella, a senior from Mt. Lake Park, Md., Alicia Lentz, a senior from Diana, and Ashley Dove, a junior from Mathias, work with kindergartner Andrew Tesar, who uses small toy animals to learn patterns, functions and algebra. At the back table, Caroline Bennett, a senior from Red Creek, and Jocie Bolyard, a junior from Terra Alta, work with kindergartner Jayla Messick. The exercise was part of Dr. Steve Creasey’s EDUC 316 Teaching Mathematics to Children (K-6) class.

D&E students were divided into three groups and were paired with area kindergartners Andrew Tesar, Jayla Messick and Andrew Harris. Each group focused on geometry and spatial sense (working with Play-Doh and shapes); patterns, functions and algebra (separating and organizing small toy animals); and data analysis and probability (working with money).

"When pre-service teachers observe young children, they become aware of how they think (problem solve) and talk (communicate) about what they are discovering," Creasey says. "This approach to teaching math demonstrates that as future teachers they should plan environments that build on children's curiosity and enthusiasm in order to encourage children to discover math concepts in the process of play."

The Davis & Elkins College Teacher Education Program prepares competent, caring and qualified teachers for schools in Appalachia and in the national and global communities. Students seeking certification in Elementary Education grades K-6 undertake a major in Education, which leads to the awarding of a Bachelor of Arts degree.

A student seeking certification in a content specialization (5-9, and/or 9-adult) must declare a major outside of Education with a declared minor in Education.

For more information, please visit the D&E website at or call 304-637-1243.



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