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Megan H. Wickstrom

Preservice elementary teachers (PSTs) often enter their teacher preparation programs with procedural and underdeveloped understandings of area measurement and its applications. This is problematic given that area and the area model are used throughout K–Grade 12 to develop flexibility in students’ mathematical understanding and to provide them with a visual interpretation of numerical ideas. This study describes an intervention aimed at bolstering PSTs’ understanding of area and area units with respect to measurement and number and operations. Following the intervention, results indicate that PSTs had both an improved ability to solve area tiling tasks as well as increased flexibility in the strategies they implemented. The results indicate that PSTs, similar to elementary students, develop a conceptual understanding of area from the use of tangible tools and are able to leverage visualizations to make sense of multiplicative structure across different strategies.

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Amanda L. Cullen, Carrie A. Lawton, Crystal S. Patterson, and Craig J. Cullen

In this lesson, third graders were asked how many degrees is a full rotation around a circle. After we gave students time and space to disagree, to make and test conjectures, and to explore, they reasoned about angle as turn and determined a full rotation is 360 degrees.

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Manouchehri Azita, Ozturk Ayse, and Sanjari Azin

In this article we illustrate how one teacher used PhET cannonball simulation as an instructional tool to improve students' algebraic reasoning in a fifth grade classroom. Three instructional phases effective to implementation of simulation included: Free play, Structured inquiry and, Synthesizing ideas.

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Erell Germia and Nicole Panorkou

We present a Scratch task we designed and implemented for teaching and learning coordinates in a dynamic and engaging way. We use the 5Es framework to describe the students' interactions with the task and offer suggestions of how other teachers may adopt it to successfully implement Scratch tasks.

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Tad Watanabe

“A mile wide and an inch deep” is an oftenrepeated criticism of U.S. mathematics curriculum. In 2006, NCTM published Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence to suggest important areas of emphasis for instruction. Many states produced new standards that were informed by the book. However, Charles (2008/2009) argues that we must address not only the mile-wide issue, by reducing the number of skill-focused standards, but also the inch-deep issue, by making essential understanding more explicit. Charles suggests that many useful resources are available to deal with the latter.