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Topic: vocabulary
Replies: 3   Last Post: Jun 4, 1996 9:56 PM

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Susan L. Addington

Posts: 32
Registered: 12/6/04
vocabulary of division (beyond the gozintas)
Posted: Jun 4, 1996 9:56 PM
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Jeff Jenkins' query reminds me of a terminology problem
I encountered this year.

I spent some time with a 6th grade class,
and we did some things that used division.
Apparently, during their entire mathematical education,
division hass almost always been written with the "gozinta" sign:
_____
4 ) 12
almost never with the division sign (- with a dot above and below).
Orally, it's always asked as "What is 4 divided into 12?",
never "What is 12 divided by 4?".
The connection between 4 divided into 12 with the fraction 12/4
was never made (though I tried, I didn't have enough time to
brainwash them).

I think I now understand some of the confusion my future elementary
teachers have with "3 divides 6" and "6 is divisible by 3".

Why don't we teach these other terminologies, notations, and concepts
earlier, or is it just the very conservative textbook series
this class was using? It seems ridiculous to have to relearn
how to write and say division questions at some point (when?)
between elementary school and college.

Susan Addington
until June 15, 1996: After June 15, 1996:
addingto@geom.umn.edu susan@math.csusb.edu
The Geometry Center Math Department
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