ERIC Number: ED260905
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: N/A
The Representation of Basic Addition and Subtraction Word Problems.
Carpenter, Thomas P.; And Others
This study investigated children's representation of addition and subtraction problems with canonical and noncanonical number sentences, to see whether children would directly represent the structure of a problem if both types of sentences were available. Subjects were 22 first graders and 41 second graders randomly assigned either to a Canonical group or a Noncanonical group. Each group received two 30-minute periods of instruction on writing and solving number sentences and writing number sentences to represent word problems. The Noncanonical group was introduced to all six basic open sentence types, while the Canonical group was introduced only to the one for addition and the one for subtraction in which the unknown is to the right of the equals sign. Children were then given two 12-item tests, on one of which they were instructed to write a number sentence for the problem and to solve the problem; on the second test, they only had to write a number sentence for the problem. Results suggest that most first graders are limited to direct symbolic representations of word problems. Both first and second graders can learn to write noncanonical number sentences and use them to represent word problems. Implications for instruction are discussed. (MNS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.