Creating Culturally Responsive Mathematics Tasks Project

Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to expose you to and analyze the lived experiences of the students you will be serving. As an educator, it is critical that you take time to learn about your students, their everyday lived contexts, and how you can use this information as a basis for instruction. Every student has assets that emerge from the culture and community that they are a part of and in this assignment, you will get to know your students, explore the community, design culturally mathematics tasks that build from this knowledge, and reflect on your work.

Using this information to plan for instruction is critical in order to support students in seeing themselves and their experiences within mathematics. As you transition into teaching mathematics, during field experience and in your own classroom, the ability to transfer knowledge of the students, school and community into coherent instruction is vital. The second part of this assignment will provide experience in doing such, as you design and implement a lesson based on the knowledge gained from your time with these students.

Skills: The purpose of this assignment is to help you practice and implement the following skills, which are essential to your success in this course, as well as in teaching mathematics:

�      Exploring and using a variety of tools to collect information about students

�      Analyzing and synthesizing data about the students, school and community to use instructional design

�      Identify connections between a variety of sources of student s funds of knowledge and mathematics content

�      Design instructional tasks and assessments which draw from a variety of student background experiences, school experiences, and community experiences (funds of knowledge)

�      Reflecting on experiences in gathering information about students to plan for instruction

�      Reflecting on experiences in planning, preparing and implementing mathematics lessons

�      Analyzing and synthesizing students learning

�      Design rich mathematical tasks

Knowledge: This assignment will help you become familiar with the following important content knowledge in mathematics education:

�      Identifying elements of mathematics content addresses outside of the school setting

�      Identifying common conceptions (accurate and otherwise) of students when teaching math content

Task: While similar to your FOK assignment in 4408, this project builds on your capabilities to bring in aspects of the community into mathematics instruction and design mathematics tasks that build on community assets.

This project will involve you collecting information about your students, the school, and community in which you are completing your field experience this semester. This information will be collected, recorded and used to design at least 2 rich mathematical tasks that connect with mathematics standards for your grade level.

Part I�Data Collection and Summaries

Personal Funds of Knowledge

  1. You will find a method to collect background information on students in your placement. This can be a heart map, puzzle piece, identity self-portrait or something else.

 Mask Map of students and their background information. Please use this to do the paragraph summary of the cultural information you see from completing this personal funds of knowledge and information that you could use in your future mathematics classroom.

Provide a paragraph summary of the cultural information you see from completing this (personal funds of knowledge) and information that you could use in your future mathematics classroom.

Students� Mathematics Identities

  1. Ask students about their mathematics identity. Write about the person�s relationship with mathematics (mathematics identity). Remember to share why they have this relationship with mathematics. Finally, state how you�d cultivate their mathematics identity while teaching mathematics. 

Questions that I asked:

  1. Could you share any positive or negative experiences you have or had with math?
  2. What do you find the most fun about math?
  3. What parts of math are you good at?
  4. How much do you enjoy math on a scale from 1 - 5? 1 being not at all and 5 being very much.
  5. On a scale of 1 - 5, how confident do you feel about math? 1 being not at all and 5 being very much.

Students� Answers:

Provide a 1-2 paragraph summary using the information you gained from reflecting on your (or whomever you choose) mathematics identity that you could use in your mathematics instruction and/or interactions with them.

Community-Based Funds of Knowledge

  1. Think deeply about the community surrounding your elementary school (the school is called Hollydale Elementary School in Cobb County, Georgia). Use the following questions to guide you:
    1. What are the strengths/assets in the community? Why do you see these as strengths/assets?
    2. What are the challenges within the community? Why do you see these as challenges?
    3. What community-based funds of knowledge could you draw upon for your math instruction?

Provide 2-3 paragraph summary of the community surrounding your elementary school. What strengths did you observe or learn about this community? What challenges does this community face? Try to be objective. Where could you �see� math being done in the community?

Meaningful Mathematics Tasks informed by Funds of Knowledge

  1. Using the mathematics found in the community and reflecting on your various experiences, create two meaningful culturally responsive worthwhile mathematics tasks for your class. Make sure you consider the four aspects of a worthwhile mathematics task. Make sure you align the tasks to the 3-5 grade GA Standards. (Please use 5th grade Georgia Mathematics Standards. Link:

Part II�Reflective Questions and Implications for Instruction and Interactions

This paper should follow all guidelines listed in your syllabus. To adequately address each topic, the short paper should be between 1-2 pages double-spaced. Please respond to each of the following prompts in your paper. This should be a narrative and NOT a list of responses to each question. This means that you should synthesize all of the data you collected in Part I to reflect on the entire process. These questions are intended to be a guide. Please also consult the project rubric to ensure your paper addresses all relevant components.

  1. How did this experience and what you learned impact your own thinking incorporating culturally responsive worthwhile mathematics tasks in your future mathematics classroom?
  2. In what ways do your tasks provide windows and/or mirrors for the students?
  3. How will you support students� groups mathematics identity in the classroom?
  4. How will you remain committed to honoring these students� funds of knowledge and mathematics identities throughout your time with them this semester?

Criteria for Success:

You will be given feedback on your submission via D2L. Successful submissions will include responses to the prompts above as well as the mathematics tasks. Please refer to the course syllabus regarding revisions and next steps if successful criteria is not met.