Thesis Title

Intermedicate Grade Mathematics: Hands-on Strategies and Strands Stressed by Teachers

Graduation Date

Spring 2003

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name



Mathematics curriculum for the intermediate grades is as plentiful as it is varied. Yet it is difficult to find mathematics curriculum at these grade levels which is both hands-on and standards-based. The purpose of this study is to determine what qualities intermediate-grade teachers in one county in rural northern California look for in intermediate- level, hands-on, standards-based mathematics curriculum. Past studies support multi-modality and standards-based lessons, but when they involve surveying teachers regarding mathematical teaching strategies, the studies either look for general characteristics of instruction or they narrow the response options so much that teachers are not able to freely discuss their techniques. Fifteen fourth through sixth grade teachers from varying schools within the county, (schools which differ in Academic Performance Index scores and English Learner Population percentages), were interviewed. Interviewees were asked to identify the qualities they look for in mathematics lesson plans, as well as areas in which they felt existing curriculum was lacking. There was a general agreement regarding the strengths and weaknesses of available curriculum, and most of the teachers who were interviewed favored succinct, cooperative lessons. They were divided, however , over other issues-namely, the sources from which they drew their lessons, whether they engaged in inductive or deductive instruction, and whether they followed the hands-on lesson with practice problems from a textbook.

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