Podcast on identifying student understanding

So I signed up to finish my Masters of Arts in Educational Technology at Michigan State University instead of stopping at just a certificate.  As a result, here is the my first assignment in CEP 800 Learning in Schools and Other Settings.  This first assignment proved challenging, not because I found creating a podcast challenging nor that choosing a topic was difficult, but because of the government legislation FOIP (Freedom of Information and Privacy) which means that I cannot record any students without parental permission.  To get the paperwork approved by my principal, then up the chain, then to get it out to parents would well exceed my week allowed, so I needed to get inventive.  I have tried to link all possible assignments in my work at MSU to my classroom because my main reason for completing the program is to improve what I do in the classroom, so changing my topic was not a option.

During my Masters’ program at University of Calgary I was introduced to the work of George Lakoff and Rafael E. Núñez.  We read many articles but the majority of our exploration was around the 4 grounding metaphors of addition as discussed in their book Where Mathematics Comes From(2000).  Lakoff and Núñez believe that all 4 grounding metaphors are necessary for students to understand later iterations.  For those unfamiliar with the 4 grounding metaphors, I included a brief summary in the podcast.  During the student interview, I looked for examples of where they are using the grounding metaphors to explain their understanding of addition.  This topic lends not to identifying misconception per say but to finding where the students’ understanding of addition is incomplete and therefore needs remediation.

Below is a picture of what manipulatives were available for the 2 students I interviewed.  I thought seeing them may help with the visualization of what they said.

podcast manipulatives


Here is my podcast which exaimines which of the 4 grounding metaphors a student at the end of grade 3 and a student at the end of grade 4 are able to access, when asked the question “how does addition work?”.


Lakoff, G., & Núñez, R. E. (2000). Where Mathematics Comes From. New York: Basic Books

“The Complex” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


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