ERIC Number: ED479330
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Daily Number Talks and the Development of Computational Strategies in Fourth Graders.
A teacher in a large suburban elementary school in East Tennessee found that her fourth grade students had poor number sense and relied almost solely upon algorithmic procedure to solve math problems. Therefore, mental math was difficult for these students, so the daily number talks method was employed to strengthen number sense. However, no research could be found to validate the efficacy of daily number talks. The purpose of this study was to determine if daily number talks would increase the number of methods a student could produce to solve a given mental math problem or the number of addition problems a child could correctly answer in two minutes, and if there was any relationship between the two. A two-fold pretest was individually administered to a class of twenty-two fourth graders. Students were first shown a two-digit addition problem and asked to solve it. Next, the researcher asked each child to explain how he/she solved the problem, and this was recorded as one strategy. The researcher then asked, "Can you think of another way to solve this problem?" and recorded each additional strategy until no more could be produced. Next, the student was given a set of flash cards containing two-digit addition problems, and the researcher recorded how many problems each child could correctly answer in two minutes. After the pretests were administered, there treatment period began. Before the math lesson each day, the teacher put a two-digit addition problem on the board. Students were given time to mentally compute the answers and then the children shared their strategies with the class. The treatment took about ten minutes each day over a period of six weeks. At the conclusion of the six-week treatment period, a posttest identical to the pre-test was given. A paired t-test was conducted on the data collected from the pretests and posttest. Statistically significant gains were found in both the number of strategies a child could produce and the number of problem a child could answer correctly. Tests were then performed to determine the correlation coefficient between the number of strategies a child could produce and the number of problems he could correctly answer in two minutes during both the pretest and the posttest. These tests produced no statistically significant difference. This research concluded that daily number talks effectively increase both the number of strategies available to a child and the speed with which that child can mentally calculate two-digit addition problems. However, the study concluded that there was no correlation between the number of strategies a student knew and the number of problems he could correctly answer on a timed test. (Author)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts, Johnson Bible College.