ERIC Number: ED327384
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Shrink-A-Cube: A Computer Based Activity To Support Primary Arithmetic. CAL Tech. Report No. 73.
Hennessy, Sara; And Others
This paper describes an educational program developed on the basis that the use of blocks and other manipulatives can be useful both for initial teaching of exchange operations in arithmetic and for remediation of the faulty strategies which very commonly arise during acquisition of written calculation algorithms. This computer program is a multibase blocks microworld adapted for use with the Macintosh Plus microcomputer. The program has a game format involving addition and subtraction operations being carried out with screen representations of concrete objects, namely Dienes blocks. Unlike some other systems, Dienes blocks cannot be broken down into their component parts, but must be exchanged. Blocks in bases other than in 10 are also available in this activity. The aim is to improve children's understanding of place value by encouraging the use of activities based on Dienes blocks alongside the teaching of formal algorithms for arithmetic calculation. Emphasized is the value of peer group teaching or cooperative learning. Included in the document are a discussion of the design of the activity, a "guided tour" of the game, results of field trials, ideas for further development and student modelling, and conclusions. Appended is a sample protocol observed between two students. (KR)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Open Univ., Walton, Bletchley, Bucks (England). Inst. of Educational Technology.
Identifiers: Apple Macintosh; England