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Using Visualization to Develop Children's Number Sense and Problem Solving Skills in Grades K-3 Mathematics (Part 2)

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Using Visualization to Develop Children's Number Sense andProblem Solving Skills in Grades K-3 Mathematics (Part 2)

LouAnn Lovin, Ph.D.

Mathematics Education

James Madison University

Kevin ate half a bunch of cookies. Sara ate one-third of what was left. Then Natalie ate one-fourth of what was left. Then Katie ate one cookie. Two cookies were left. How many cookies were there to begin with?

Lovin NESA Spring 2012

Sara

Sol 1

Kevin

Natalie

Katie

Sol 2

Sol 3

2

Katie

Natalie

Sara

Kevin

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Research suggests…..

It is not whether teachers use visual/graphic depictions, it is how they are using them that makes a difference in students’ understanding.

- Students using their own graphic depictions and receiving feedback/guidance from the teacher (during class and on mathematical write ups)
- Discussions about why particular representations might be more beneficial to help think through a given problem or communicate ideas.
- Graphic depictions of multiple problems and multiple solutions.
(Gersten & Clarke, NCTM Research Brief)

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- Discuss the differences between pictures and diagrams.
- Ask students to
- Explain how the diagram represents various components of the problem.
- Emphasize the the importance of precision in the diagram.
- Discuss their diagrams with one another to highlight the similarities and differences in various diagrams that may represent the same problem.
- Discuss which diagrams are most appropriate for particular kinds of problems.

Katie Natalie Sara Kevin

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Randomly combine numbers without trying to make sense of the problem.

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- This strategy is useful as a rough guide but limited because key words don't help students understand the problem situation (i.e. what is happening in the problem).
- Key words can also be misleading because the same word may mean different things in different situations.
- There are 7 boys and 21 girls in a class. How many
more girls than boys are there?

- Wendy has 3 cards. Her friend gives her 8 more cards. How many cards does Wendy have now?

- There are 7 boys and 21 girls in a class. How many

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Real problems do not have key words!

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Contextual (Word) Problems

- Introduce procedures and concepts using contextual problems (e.g., subtraction; multiplication).
- Makes learning more concrete by presenting abstract ideas in a familiar context.
- AVOIDs the sole reliance on key words.

Lovin NESA Spring 2012

Quantitative Analysis

Visual models (like Singapore Math, VandeWalle)

- Helps children to get past the words by visualizing and illustrating word problems with simple diagrams.
- Emphasis is on modeling the quantities and their relationships.
- Difference between pictures and diagrams.

Lovin NESA Spring 2012

Ben has 5 cats and his cousin, Jerry, has 3 cats. How many cats do they have together?

How would you write this computation as an equation?

Jerry

3

5

Ben

Jerry has 3 cats. Ben has 5 more cats than his cousin Jerry. How many cats does Ben have?

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Jerry has 3 cats. Ben has 5 more cats than his cousin Jerry. How many cats does Ben have?

8

Ben

5

Jerry

3

How would you write this computation as an equation?

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Meilinsaved $184. She saved $63 more than Betty. How much did Betty save?

How would you write this computation?

(Primary Mathematics volume 3A, page 21, problem 7.)

$184

Meilin

Betty

?

$63

Lovin NESA Spring 2012

- Jacob had 8 cookies. He ate 3 of them. How many cookies does he have now?
- Jacob has 3 dollars to buy cookies. How many more dollars does he need to earn to have 8 dollars?
- Nathan has 3 dollars. Jacob has 8 dollars. How many more dollars does Jacob have than Nathan?

How did you find your answer?

Most adults think 8 – 3 = 5, because it’s the most efficient way to solve these tasks.

Young children see these as 3 different problems and use the action or situation in the problem to solve it – so they solve each of these using different strategies.

(Unfortunately, too often children are told to subtract – because that’s how we interpret the problem.)

- Jacob has 8 cookies. He ate 3 of them. How many cookies does he have now?
- Jacob has 3 dollars. How many more dollars does he need to earn to have 8 dollars?
- Nathan has 3 dollars. Jacob has 8 dollars. How many more dollars does Jacob have than Nathan?

X

X

X

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

1

2

5

6

3

4

7

5

8

1

2

3

4

5

While students can use the rekrenrek to generate different strategies for solving basic facts, they can also use it to solve story problems such as the ones below. Visualization is key to helping find a solution.

Together, Claudia and Robert have 7 apples. Claudia has one more apple than Robert. How many apples do Claudia and Robert have?

Claudia had 4 apples. Robert gave her some more. Now she has 7 apples. How many did Robert give her?

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Town Sports ordered 99 scooters. They have received 45 scooters. How many scooters is Town Sports waiting on?

45

?

99

99 – 45 = ______

OR 45 + ____ = 99

Lovin NESA Spring 2012

Joining

Physical Action

Separate

Part-part Whole

No

Physical Action

Comparing

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Bear Dog had some cookies. Taiwan gave him 8 more cookies. Then he had 13 cookies. How many cookies did Bear Dog have before Taiwan gave him any?

?

8

13

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A typical approach is to use arrays or the area model to represent multiplication.

Why?

4

3×4=12

3

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How many plums does the grocer have on display?

plums

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apples

lemons

Groups of 5 or less subtly suggest skip counting (subitizing).

tomatoes

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- How many muffins did the baker have when all the trays were filled?
- How many muffins has the baker sold?
- What relationships can you see between the different trays?

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- What are the strategies and big ideas they are using and/or developing
- How does the context and visual support the students’ mathematical work?
- How does the teacher highlight students’ significant ideas?

Video 1.1.3 from Landscape of Learning Multiplication mini-lessons (grades 3-5)

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Jackie

Edward

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Sam

Wendy

Amanda

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- Show a 2 x 3 rectangle
- Show a 4 x 5 rectangle

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12

5

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Area model using grid paper

Open array

Context (muffin tray, sheet of stamps, fruit tray)

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How do you think about determining what 2 x 30 is?

What do we mean by “adding a zero”?

Video 1 (:19) (1.1.5) and Video 2 (3:59) (1.1.6) Multiplication mini-lessons

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- Take a minute and write down two things you are thinking about from this morning’s session.
- Share with a neighbor.

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- Help children create diagrams to represent the quantities and their relationships in problems.
- Children can solve the same problem using different operations.
- Take advantage of children’s tendencies to subitize (rekenreks and arrays)
- Use real world contexts to introduce arrays (multiplication)

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An old man’s face or two lovers kissing?

Cat or mouse?

Not everyone sees what you may see.

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- Carpenter, Fennema, Franke, Levi, Empson. (1999). Children’s Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction. Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH.
- Diesmann, C., & English, L. (2001). Promoting the use of diagrams as tools for thinking. In A. Cuoco & F. Curcio (Eds.), The Roles of Representation in School Mathematics, pp. 77-89. Reston, VA: NCTM.
- Dolk, M., Liu, N., & Fosnot, C. (2008). The Double-Decker Bus: Early Addition and Subtraction. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
- Fosnot, C. & Dolk, M. (2001). Young Mathematicians at Work: Constructing Number Sense, Addition, and Subtraction. Portsmouth, NH: Heinneman.
- Fosnot, C. (2008). Bunk Beds and Apple Boxes: Early Number Sense. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
- Fostnot, C. & Cameron, A. (2007). Games for Early Number Sense. Portsmouth, NH: Heinneman.
- Gersten, R. & Clarke, B. (2007). Research Brief: Effective Strategies for Teaching Students with Difficulties in Mathematics. NCTM: Reston, VA.
- Ministry of Education Singapore. (2009). The Singapore Model Method. Panpac Education: Singapore.
- NCTM (2000). Principles and Standards of School Mathematics. NCTM: Reston, VA.
- Parrish, S. (2010). Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies. Math Solutions: Sausalito, CA.
- Storeygard, J. (2009). My Kids Can: Making Math Accessible to All Learners. Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH.
- Wright, R., Martland. J, Stafford, A., & Stanger, G. (2006). Teaching Number: Advancing Children’s Skills and Strategies. London: Sage.
- Using the Rekenrek as a Visual Model for Strategic Reasoning in Mathematics by Barbara Blanke (www.mathlearningcenter.org/media/Rekenrek_0308.pdf)
- VandeWalle, J. & Lovin, L. (2005). Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics: Grades K-3. Boston:Pearson.

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- Direct Modeling Strategies
- Counting Strategies
- Derived Number Facts
- Known Number Facts (as in recall)

return

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