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ERIC Number: ED443705
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-27
Pages: 47
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Teaching First Grade Computation: A Comparison of Traditional Instruction and Computer Enhanced Instruction.
Shults, Patricia Ann
A first grade teacher in a rural elementary school in upper East Tennessee observed that her students needed a better way to improve their computation skills than those of traditional instructional methods. The school system's new Mathematics textbook was correlated with commercial Mathematics software. The teacher wanted to find out if using this software to enhance traditional instruction would make a significant difference in the students' computation skills. The psychologist, Jean Piaget saw children as active learners and viewed them as constructors of their own knowledge. He stressed that learning should be meaningful to the learner. According to Piaget, children from ages two to seven are in the preoperational period. In this period, students can manipulate symbols and recognize numerals as symbols for numbers of objects. Teachers should incorporate developmentally appropriate practices that instruct children in a meaningful way. Students should be actively involved in the learning. Developmentally appropriate practices should stimulate intellectual growth by stressing physical manipulation of objects. There are many debates concerning whether manipulation of computer objects is considered physical manipulation and whether it has the same value as manipulation of concrete objects. Sixteen first graders participated as the subjects for this study. These students were divided into a control group and a treatment group. During the nine-week experiment, both groups received traditional instruction covering addition and subtraction facts in a large group setting. In addition, the treatment group used Math Blaster[R] Jr. software for an hour each week to practice computation while the control group received an hour of traditional instruction to equalize the time on task. The control group was given time on the computer so that lack of computer access would not impact the finding. The control group did not use any type of Mathematics software. At the experiment's end, the subjects were given the computation subtest of the CTBS/4 as a post-test. The mean scale score for the control group and for the treatment group were determined. Upon t-test comparison of the mean percentile scores, it was found that there was no significant difference between the scores at the .05 level of significance. However, the control group's mean score was higher than the treatment group's mean score. The teacher had observed that the treatment group subjects became disinterested in the Mathematics software in the latter part of the experiment. The teacher believes that this disinterest led to the lower mean score by the treatment group. (Contains 40 references.) (Author/YDS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A