Nathalie Sinclair is a full professor in the Faculty of Education, an associate member in the Department of Mathematics and a Canada Research Chair in Tangible Mathematics Learning at Simon Fraser University. She is also an associate editor of For the Learning of Mathematics and is founding editors for a new journal entitled Digital Experiences in Mathematics Education. She is the author of Mathematics and Beauty: Aesthetic Approaches to Teaching Children (2006) and Developing Essential Understanding of Geometry for Teaching Mathematics (2012), among other books. Her primary research concerns the role of digital technologies in the teaching and learning of mathematics, most recently focusing on multitouch devices and early number sense.
New starting points for number sense using TouchCounts
The design and development of TouchCounts, an iPad based application, was initially aimed to help support children's one-to-one correspondence by reinforcing the idea that each touch of the screen is associated with one number. By taking advantage both of the device's multitouch capacities, as well as its gestural forms of expression, TouchCounts also targets other important aspects of number sense including finger gnosis, ordinality and cardinality. In my research with young children, it has become obvious that the tangible/visual/oral forms of feedback offered by TouchCounts-based activities can radically change assumed developmental sequences or learning trajectories around number sense. In this presentation, I will present some evidence of these changes and propose a new way of thinking about the mathematics curriculum that respects the crucial role that tasks and tools play in shaping the learning of mathematical concepts.