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ERIC Number: EJ1139551
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Putting the "th" in Tenths: Providing Place-Value Labels Helps Reveal the Structure of Our Base-10 Numeral System
Loehr, Abbey M.; Rittle-Johnson, Bethany
Journal of Cognition and Development, v18 n2 p226-245 2017
Research has demonstrated that providing labels helps children notice key features of examples. Much less is known about how different labels impact children's ability to make inferences about the structure underlying mathematical notation. We tested the impact of labeling decimals such as 0.34 using formal place-value labels ("3 tenths and 4 hundredths") compared to informal labels ("point three four") or no labels on children's problem-solving performance. Third- and fourth-graders (N = 104) learned to label decimals while playing a magnitude comparison game and placing decimals on a number line. Formal labels facilitated performance on problems that required understanding the role of zero. Further, formal labels led to lower performance on problems where a whole-number bias led to a correct answer, suggesting that formal labels may have reduced a whole-number bias. Overall, formal labels helped highlight the place-value structure of decimals, indicating that labels can help children notice mathematical structure.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A