Project Profile

Digital Mathematics Storytelling: Fraction Stories from Urban Emergent Communities


Many elementary school children in urban communities are not given the opportunity to relate what they see in school to the mathematics they see in their homes, families, and communities. This project will help solve this problem through a digital storytelling approach. It will investigate how elementary grade children can use mobile technology to create digital mathematics stories. These stories will be made from videos, photos, and audio. Students will connect mathematics from out-of-school settings to the mathematics they learn in school. This project will also create a teacher-friendly website of short videos that showcase the rich mathematics that exists in the everyday lives of urban children.

This project, submitted to the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) will develop a digital mathematics storytelling protocol for all teachers to use, understand the effects of digital storytelling on children?s mathematical identities, knowledge of fractions, and digital literacies, understand how using digital mathematics storytelling effects mathematics instruction, the level of equity in the classroom, and the level of connectedness that teachers feel to their communities, and create a nationwide, online community space for all teachers to learn how to use digital mathematics storytelling. In terms of research methods, a Participant Design Research methodology will be used so that students, their families, and community members will have a voice in developing the digital mathematics storytelling protocol. Narrative Inquiry and Constant Comparison Analysis will be used to analyze the impact of creating and sharing these stories. Over five years, this project will impact 12 elementary classrooms serving over 700 children. Research findings will be used to understand how digital mathematics storytelling connects to mathematics learning. Additionally, a free, online elementary teacher professional development website will be created that features stories authored by participant children, their families, and their communities. Finally, this project will help urban children learn how to use current technology to craft mathematics narratives that help them see themselves as mathematically powerful while still connected to their community.


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Principal Investigator(s)
Project Staff
Primary Contact


Award Number
Project Duration
2020 - 2025
The Ohio State University, OH
Project Work State
Target Gradespan(s)
Elementary school (K-5)
Project Setting(s)
Formal Education
Geographic Location(s)
Project Status
Computer and informational technology science
Mathematical sciences
Target Participants
Youth / students
Parents / caregivers / families
Black/African American participants
Hispanic/Latino participants
English learners
Students eligible for free lunch or reduced-price lunch
Thematic Group
STEM Learning and Learning Environments