Using Peer-Shared Intervention Strategies for Promoting Math Explorations and Critical Thinking in Early Childhood Inclusive Classrooms

Kathleen I. Harris


Inclusive early childhood settings invite children with and without disabilities to play, learn, and work together in one classroom. Teachers can take advantage of children’s curiosity for math when they organize creative learning environments and develop meaningful critical thinking experiences to increase children’s interactions with peers. Peer-shared activities, including math helpmates and math chats, can offer a hopeful approach for supporting higher order and critical thinking math experiences for young children in inclusive classroom settings. Inviting a math helpmate to explain to a peer how or why they arrived at an answer or to show a different way to find an answer during math activities can promote critical math thinking and communication skills. To maximize success when using peer-shared strategies, teachers should be actively involved in monitoring math progress, providing feedback to children, and supporting peer interactions. This article will explore a variety of strategies for creating math discoveries and critical thinking using peer-shared activities at school and home. Practical strategies to be discussed will include math helpmates, math chats, and incidental teaching for increasing for supporting children’s natural interest in math concepts.

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International Journal of Contemporary Education

ISSN 2575-3177 (Print)   ISSN 2575-3185 (Online)

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