UCLA Lab School Demonstration Teachers Publish Chapter on Counting Collections for Grades 3-5




Demonstration Teacher Julie Kern Schwerdtfeger and former Demonstration Teacher Darlene Fish Doto have co-authored a chapter in the book Choral Counting & Counting Collections: Transforming the PreK-5 Math Classroom, published by Stenhouse Publishers. “Counting Collections 3–5” draws on Ms. Kern’s and Ms. Fish’s extensive experience teaching mathematics through Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) and features instructional stories, photos, and student work from classrooms at UCLA Lab School.

Edited by GSE&IS Professor Megan Franke, University of Washington Professor Elham Kazemi, and UCLA Teacher Education Program Clinical Faculty Member Angela Chan Turrou, the book is designed for preschool and elementary teachers to help them deepen children’s mathematical understanding through open-ended counting activities that are “at once playful and intentional, simple and sophisticated.”

“It was a very rewarding experience for us to spend time capturing students’ and teachers’ work in the Intermediate and Upper classrooms,” said Ms. Kern Schwerdtfeger. “For many years, our teachers have been developing and sharing our work around counting in the primary grades. Our middle grade teachers were pushing the boundaries and thinking about how to extend that rich mathematical work into counting larger and more complex collections with older students. We hope that the chapter and the whole book will inspire teachers to imagine new possibilities for ways to count with students.”

CGI is a student-centered approach to teaching mathematics. It starts with the premise that children have a valuable understanding of numbers and mathematics when they enter school and that by listening to children and engaging with their thinking teachers can help them expand and grow their understanding. UCLA Lab School teachers have worked with Professor Franke to develop the school’s mathematics curriculum using CGI since the 1990s.

Ms. Kern Schwerdtfeger previously collaborated on the 2007 Teaching Children Mathematics article “Counting Collections”, which featured the Counting Collections work being developed in the Early Childhood program at UCLA Lab School (then UES) at the time.