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Re: education, technology & chat (The Mathematics of it)

Excellent questions Peg, and they are influencing our inquiry.  Thank you.

> quadrilaterals: Does it come up that squares are rectangles, that the sort
> of things that make a rectangle different from, say, a rhombus is of a
> different order than the difference between squares and other rectangles? 

Yes, squares being rectanges are talked about, but orders of difference are 

> The second thing was about the "big, small" and "big, skinny":  Are those
> treated in the talk more like, say, color (and not mathematized) than they
> are like, say, side or point?    

At this early introduction to shapes, i would dare interpret that Jane is 
interested in promoting thinking in complexes and that  thinking 
scientifically/mathematizing, in sucha signficant way as you indicate, is a 
ways off.  This is to be expected.  We're looking at 6-7 year olds, and, in a 
piagetian sense, these children are just entering concrete operations.  One 
does not see consistent perfomance of conservation, or the ability to hold 
two things in mind at the same time. 

> I'm guessing that the so-called correlations to the NCTM standards that
> they say are provided by Scott Foresman would have the most information
> about what mathematics learning/development ideas motivate the lesson
> content; is that so?

No. I've worked at TERC developing curriculum but not with the investigations 
group.  I think to honestly answer your question one would want to do CHAT 
historical analysis of TERC's investigations team together with the NCTM 
organization, and the schools that TERC pilots and field tests their content.  
The good answer is a book, perhaps a career.  In a nutshell I think what 
motivates the lesson content is distributed all over.