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ERIC Number: EJ780288
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0749-4025
Repeating Patterns and Multiplicative Thinking: Analysis of Classroom Interactions with 9-Year-Old Students that Support the Transition from the Known to the Novel
Warren, Elizabeth; Cooper, Tom
Journal of Classroom Interaction, v41 n2, v42 n1 p7-17 2007
In early years' (primary grade) classrooms in Australia repeated patterns are commonly explored as an early introductory activity to mathematics. Most young students have an extensive knowledge of and exhibit success in copying, continuing, creating and transferring patterns into other media. By contrast, research indicates one of the most difficult concepts with which students grapple in their later years of elementary school is the notion of ratio. This paper reports on a design (teaching) experiment conducted over a four-lesson period in two classrooms comprising 51 students whose average age was 9 years and 6 months. The focus of these lessons was using students' knowledge of repeating patterns, an understanding that traditionally remains in the precinct of early years, to scaffold the introduction of ratio. The theoretical frameworks that underpinned the classroom interactions and learning were the socio-constructivist theory of learning, inquiry-based discourse and the simultaneous use of multi-representations to build new knowledge. The results show that after a short intervention period, repeating patterns can act as effective bridges for introducing the ratio concept. They also show that particular representations and teacher actions assisted students to identify ratio, recognize equivalence between particular ratios, and begin to represent these ideas in abstract notation systems. (Contains 5 figures, 1 table and 1 footnote.)
University of Houston, College of Education. 442 Farish Hall, Houston, TX 77204-5026. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Houston Univ., TX. Coll. of Education.
Identifiers - Location: Australia
IES Cited: ED512043