Masters Theses/Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction (MAE)

First Committee Member

Dr. Dee Knoblauch


Dee Knoblauch

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jeffrey Smith

Third Committee Member

Dr. Diane Ross


Math Instruction, Differentiation, Math Stations, Meaningful Work, Challenging Work, First-Grade

Subject Categories

Elementary Education | Higher Education


This study intended to determine the benefits of using differentiated math stations in a first-grade classroom. The goal was to learn if the levels of differentiated stations affected the first-grade students’ ability to select meaningful and challenging work. Six students from my first-grade class were selected as participants for a purposeful, stratified sample. All participants were volunteers. A research action design method was used to observe participants’ level selections and strategies. Participants interacted with three differentiated math stations in one rotation for a total of four rotations during three weeks of observations. An exit slip completed by students noted their feelings during stations, confidence in selecting appropriately challenging levels, and their favorite part of math stations. Exit slip responses were completed at the end of each rotation. The study supported students in attempting challenges, trying to find appropriate tasks, and expressing their mathematical understanding through the use of exit slips. The data suggested important benefits of differentiated math stations, but more research is needed regarding participant’s choice. Limitations such as the pandemic, health and safety precautions, the duration of stations, as well as the predetermined challenge levels used during the study could explain the outcomes.

Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use

capstone_nicole_callahan_454.mp4 (16688 kB)
Presentation Video



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.