When counting cubes is not enough: Exploring volume measurement dynamically
Nicole Panorkou

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Montclair State University

Primary Discipline

Mathematics Education
Although measurement is classified as one of the main domains in the CCSS-M that spans all elementary grades K-5, international comparative studies show that U.S. student performance on measurement is very low. Aiming to resolve students’ difficulties and help them develop a conceptual understanding of volume, this study will explore an innovative way for students to experience volume measurement, what we refer to as Dynamic Measurement (DYME-V). DYME-V engages students in building 3D objects through dynamic experiences of ‘sweeping’ lengths and ‘extruding’ areas, constructing in that way a meaning of volume as a continuous structure that can dynamically change based on three linear measures: length, width and height. I will use a design-based research methodology to design, study and refine dynamic tasks for developing students’ DYME-V through a series of teaching experiments with students. During this process, I will monitor effects on student learning and document changes in student reasoning about volume measurement aiming to construct a learning trajectory of how students’ DYME-V reasoning may progress over time. The DYME-V approach opens up novel avenues toward transforming the learning and teaching of measurement by utilizing technology, which makes this abstract concept significantly more accessible to students.
About Nicole Panorkou
Nicole Panorkou is an assistant professor of mathematics education in the department of Mathematical Sciences at Montclair State University. She completed her PhD in Mathematics Education at the UCL Institute of Education in London, U.K. Her PhD research was a phenomenographic study of students’ experiences of dimension in geometry. After earning her PhD, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and worked as a post-doctoral researcher in NSF-funded projects at North Carolina State University. She contributed to the development of the resource TurnOnCCMath.net that maps the CCSS-M into learning trajectories, and was also involved in projects on the teaching and learning of geometric transformations and rational number reasoning, the design of Massive Open Online courses (MOOCs) for educators, and the design of exploratory learning environments. Her research centers on the development and validation of learning trajectories for K-8 mathematics; student learning of geometry and measurement; and a focus on the ways that technology and modeling can foster the utility of mathematical concepts. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator of “The DYME project: Developing students’ thinking of dynamic measurement” funded by the Spencer Foundation (ending July 2017).

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