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ERIC Number: EJ747882
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1033-2170
Young Children's Ability to Use the Balance Strategy to Solve for Unknowns
Warren, Elizabeth; Cooper, Tom J.
Mathematics Education Research Journal, v17 n1 p58-72 2005
This article examines students' ability to use the balance model to solve for unknowns. A teaching experiment was conducted in four Year 3 classrooms. This experiment focused on exploring the application of the balance model as an analogue for representing equations and solving for unknowns. The teaching experiment promoted a shift by students towards viewing addition and subtraction equations in terms of equivalence, where the situation is viewed in a multi-directional way (i.e., balance). Initially the lessons were trialed by the researchers in two classrooms. The lessons were then implemented in a further two classrooms by two classroom teachers in conjunction with the researchers. Two weeks after the conclusion of the teaching experiment, a one-on-one interview was conducted with a random sample comprising twenty students with an average age of eight years. The interviews indicated that while the balance model did assist students reach solutions for finding unknowns, for some students further explicit teaching was required. (Contains 4 figures and 4 tables.)
Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. MERGA-GPO Box 2747, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia. Web Site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia