Date: Mar 27, 1995 10:39 AM
Author: CHAPMAN@APSICC.APS.EDU
Subject: Benchmarks
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 numerals--but is oral counting passe????

If this seems too dull for the list, please respond to me personally at

Chapman@apsicc.aps.edu THANKS! Cindy