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Re: Benchmarks
Posted:
Mar 27, 1995 4:37 PM


On March 27 Cindy Chapman wrote:
>A group of teachers is working in Albuquerque to develop appropriate >benchmarks for assessing children's mathematical understandings. We are >looking specifically at grade 2. In writing a developmental continuum we >have reached a small but significant disagreement. One of our colleagues >feels uncomformtable with the inclusion of benchmarks on oral counting >under numbers and numeration. (Specifically: in the "developing" category >counts orally to 100 by ones and tens, to 50 by fives, to twenty by 2s. >In the "independent" category : counts to 100 by 2s, 5s, and 10s.) Our >collegue feels oral counting is too rote. > > >and therefore shouldn't be included as a benchmark. > >The Standards say: "Counting skills, which are essential for ordering and com >paring numbers, are an important component of the development of number >ideas. Counting on, counting back, and skip counting mark advances in >children's development of number ideas. However, counting is only one >indicator of children's understanding of numbers" > >The developmental continuum being written contains many, many more >indicators of understanding of numbers. > >I have also seen research findings that show that children build their >number sense from counting. Frankly, I can't think of any other way >to learn to count than by rote and there are clear developmental aspects >to how children learn to count. > >What do you think? Do the Standards say that anything that must be done >by rote should not be considered a benchmark? (Remember, as I said, these >rote counting benchmarks are only a small part of the benchmarks being >written, but some of our colleagues consider them very important.) >Clearly, oral counting is part of the "decreased attention" category >as that pretty much WAS the curriculum for primary children if you added >writing numeralsbut is oral counting passe???? > >If this seems too dull for the list, please respond to me personally at >Chapman@apsicc.aps.edu THANKS! Cindy
Maybe it depends on how the counting is done. Does the child actually count something (blocks, beans, etc.) while doing the oral counting? Being able to orally count by 2s to twenty could be rote, but might be considered less rote if the child has to move two items for each verbalization. I believe that rote counting could be considered a benchmark for this grade level IF done in the context of a meaningful situation. This also adheres to the Communication Standard which talks about "opportunities to communicate so that the students can model situations using oral, written, concrete, pictoral, graphical, and algebraic methods," and "appreciating the value of mathematical notation and its role in the development of mathematical ideas," (p. 78). I would say there was a role of numerical language development in rote counting as well.
Dawn Hoyt Kidd



