Date: Dec 23, 2013 4:02 PM
Author: Clyde Greeno @ MALEI
Subject: Re: [SPAM]Kids understand multi-digit numbers as early as age 3
Poppycock! The authors are very "Mix-ed" up about the mathematics and about
the mythical role of "place values." As reported. below, their findings have
nothing to do with "place value" ... mathematically or psychologically.
All students eventually and automatically learn that simple Arabic numerals
are linearly ordered by two rules for alphabetizing: (1) same-length
numerals are ordered "dictionary-wise", and (2) all longer numerals follow
all shorter ones . [The last condition is what trips them up when they
encounter decimal-point numbers; different rules for alphabetically
ordering the numerals.]
As soon as children can learn the alphabet of Arabic digits, they can begin
learning about digit-strings and the alphabetics, thereof. That learning
usually begins outside of school.
Even though the digit-strings present their digits in sequential *places*,
children below age 7 rarely comprehend that the *places* can have numeric
values. In fact, even very young children commonly can learn to pronounce,
in English denominations, such strings as 999,999,999,999,999. But
identifying phonic denominations with *places* by no means is indicative
that the child has numeric values for even 3-place numerals.
If their research says anything at all, it is that educators had far better
be looking at the alphabetics of the numerals, than supposing children to
know something that they cannot.
From: "Domenico Rosa" <DRosa@post.edu>
Sent: Monday, December 23, 2013 10:53 AM
Subject: [SPAM]Kids understand multi-digit numbers as early as age 3
> It seems that the solution to U.S. pseudo-education in arithmetic may lie
> with three-year-olds.
> Study: Kids understand multi-digit numbers as early as age 3
> Dec. 18, 2013
> EAST LANSING, Mich., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Children as young as 3 years old can
> grasp large numbers and may be ready for more direct math instruction when
> they enter school, U.S. researchers say.
> The finding in a study funded by the U.S. Department of Education's
> Institute of Education Sciences has implications for U.S. students who are
> losing ground internationally in mathematics performance, they said.
> "Contrary to the view that young children do not understand place value
> and multi-digit numbers, we found that they actually know quite a lot
> about it," study co-author Kelly Mix of Michigan State University said.
> "They are more ready than we think when they enter kindergarten," said
> Mix, a professor of educational psychology.
> Working with colleagues from Indiana University, Mix tested children ages
> 3 to 7 on their ability to identify and compare two- and three-digit
> In one task, for example, children were shown two quantities, such as 128
> and 812, and asked to point out which was larger.
> "There was significant improvement in interpreting place value from age 3
> to 7," Mix said, "but it was remarkable that even the youngest children
> showed at least some understanding of multi-digit numbers."
> Understanding place value -- ones, tens, hundreds -- is the gateway to
> higher math skills such as addition with carrying, and there is a strong
> tie between place value skills in early elementary grades and
> problem-solving ability later on, the researchers said.
> "In short, children who fail to master place value face chronic low
> achievement in mathematics," they said in reporting their study in the
> journal Child Development.