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May 2011, Volume 42, Issue 3


Assessing the Development of Preschoolers’ Mathematical Patterning
Marina M. Papic, Joanne T. Mulligan, and Michael C. Mitchelmore
The development of patterning strategies during the year prior to formal schooling was studied in 53 children from 2 similar preschools. One preschool implemented a 6-month intervention focusing on repeating and spatial patterns. Children from the intervention group demonstrated greater understanding of unit of repeat and spatial structuring, and most were also able to extend and explain growing patterns 1 year later. The findings indicate a fundamental link between patterning and multiplicative reasoning through the development of composite units.

Negotiating Identities for Mathematics Teaching in the Context of Professional Development
Melissa Sommerfeld Gresalfi and Paul Cobb
This article presents an analytical approach for documenting the identities for teaching that mathematics teachers negotiate as they participate in two or more communities that define high-quality teaching differently. Drawing on data from the first two2 years of a collaboration with a group of middle school mathematics teachers, the article focuses on a critical initial condition for teachers to improve their practice—determining that the effort required is worthwhile. The results speak directly to a central issue that arises when supporting teachers’ efforts to improve their instructional practices: their motivation for affiliating with a vision of teaching that involves centering instruction on student thinking.

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