H. Campos, E. Teixeira, P. Catarino

University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
Mathematics is a fundamental component of an individual’s education, taking on a significant role in their growth as free, critical autonomous citizens from kindergarten until the end of high school. A child is a curious and interested being, so it essential to explore these two aspects in tasks implemented in the classroom from the beginning of school life. Recently there have been some less encouraging results in regards to the learning of Mathematics and, therefore, the students’ hardships become evident, both in national assessment tests and international studies (OECD, 2013). Within this context, Mathematics is considered a difficult subject by the majority of our students. In order to minimize this problem, the Mathematics’ teachers try to understand how the students, at this early age, deal with mathematical concepts, establishing connections between Mathematics and their daily life. In this work we present an alternative way to bring mathematical concepts closer to children, by using children’s literature as a starting point. The fast motivation and increased enthusiasm demonstrated by the students who participated in this teaching experiment have led us to propose the illustration of children’s stories, leading to creating e-book comics, to be used in subsequent tasks focusing on mathematical questions. Some of the topics that worry teachers and researchers, from kindergarten until university, include the advantages of using children’s literature to introduce or consolidate mathematical concepts (Cotti & Schiro, 2004), as well as students’ behavior and attitudes when digital texts are used (Shalter, 2008; Weisberg, 2011). Despite this being a recurring topic in multiple international and national studies (Malathi & Rohani, 2010; Noorhidawati & Gibb, 2008; Woody, Daniel, & Baker, 2010; Noor, Embong & Abdullah, 2012; Palhares & Azevedo, 2010), this teaching strategy is something completely new in Portugal.

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