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Topic: Re: starting from counting
Replies: 6   Last Post: Nov 6, 1995 9:53 PM

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Bartel, Anne

Posts: 7
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: starting from counting
Posted: Oct 30, 1995 1:10 PM
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Re: comments:

You can decide which I belong to.
As my favorite, math is to make difficult thing easier, math is starting from
counting, and because we want to make thing easier to deal with, we invent
"addition" then "substraction" then "multiplication" ...... It is building
block. When student can count well, showing them why the addition can make their
life easier will to easy.

I have a mentor/friend, John Marshall, who has worked closely with Sir Wilfred
Cockcroft in England on the Maths for Schools elementary curriculum. His
strongly worded message to me over the years is that this is the very issue on
which we in the states "mess up" our early instruction. He would argue that
counting is NOT the first step. He believes (and the English curriculum
supports) that children need to develop an understanding of "2" and "4" by
setting up sets in 1-1 correspondence, then using that work to inform the
placement of number posters on the wall. The work for "4" goes to the right of
"2" because the sets involve numbers beyond 2. When the young students return
to develop the concept of "3", the major question becomes how that work with "3"
compares to the work with "2" and "4". Number work develops from these early
discussions about relationships and 1-1 correspondence. John's observations of
our early curriculum work in this country reinforce his opinions that we assume
counting will lay the foundations for these early understandings and comparisons
of number...assumptions we are mistaken in making.

Anne Bartel
Project Manager, SciMathMN
647 Capitol Square Building
550 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
W: 612-282-3707
FAX: 612-296-3348

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