NCTM San Diego Presentation Summary

Back to NCTM San Diego: Constructivism

This is the summary of a presentation given at the 74th Annual NCTM Meeting, 25-28 April 1996, San Diego, CA.

Relearning How to Teach Arithmetic

How do students construct approaches to operations that make sense to them? This conference is designed for teachers who are supporting their students in inventing strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, based on understanding of number and operations, but who find many questions arising as they change their practice: Is it important the student learn number "facts"? Aren't many invented algorithms cumbersome? Should students know the traditional algorithms? What does "understanding" an operation look like and how does this understanding change and grow? What are the roles of concrete materials and of "real world" context in work with number relationships and operations? In order to consider these questions, participants will engage in mathematical explorations, in activities they might use with their students, in viewing and discussing videotaped and written classroom episodes.

Susan Jo Russell (TERC, Cambridge, MA)
Deborah Ball (Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI)
Cornelia Tierney (TERC, Cambridge, MA)
Karen Economopoulos (TERC, Cambridge, MA)

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The Math Forum * ** 26 March 1996