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Teaching Elementary Concepts

Date: 04/04/97 at 21:53:22
From: lisa
Subject: 3 different approaches

1. I need to develop a meaningful understanding and skill in order to 
teach rational do I effectively teach  rational 
counting to a 1st grader?

2. Develop an understanding of "prime" and "composite" numbers. How 
can I teach this concept to fourth graders?

3. Illustrate that the square root of 2 is an irrational number. How 
can I illustrate this to eighth graders?

I need this information as soon as possible

Thank you so much!

Date: 04/05/97 at 18:02:46
From: Doctor Judy
Subject: Re: 3 different approaches

You have asked three very good questions.  I'll try to point you to 
information that will help you answer them.  

1. To learn rational counting, 1st grade students should be given 
opportunities to group, sort and count using favorite objects.   
Literature should also be connected to math by reading counting books 
with the students.  For titles, check:   

2. For Prime and Composite number understanding I suggest the Sieve 
of Eratosthenes.  You can find directions and information at:   

When students actually generate the prime numbers using this method it 
helps to reinforce the concept that composites have more than two 

3. For the square root of 2 you might try to have the students "find," 
by guessing, the exact number that when multiplied by itself is equal 
to 2. Students would try to solve x^2 = 2. Directions for finding 
square roots without a calculator are at:   

For an explanation of rational vs. irrational numbers, search the Dr. 
Math Archives.

I hope that these ideas will be helpful to you

-Doctor Judy,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!   
Associated Topics:
Elementary Number Sense/About Numbers
Elementary Prime Numbers

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