Making Sense with Manipulatives: Developing Mathematical Experiences for Early Childhood Teachers

Education and Culture 33 (2):67 (2017)
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Longtime teacher and teacher educator Patricia Carini argues that numbers provide one of the many crucial tools that humans use to make sense of their world.4 In making this claim, Carini retells an extended "Number Story" from Alfred North Whitehead in which a squirrel moves her three children "one by one" to a new location.5 As Whitehead recounts: when the mother had placed them on a rock outside, the family group looked to her very different from its grouping within the nest. She was vaguely disturbed, and ran backwards and forwards two or three times to make quite sure no young squirrel had been left behind. She was unable to count. … All she knew was that the vague multitude on the rock seemed very unlike the...



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