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ERIC Number: EJ793940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-1326-0286
Developing Decimal Sense
Caswell, Rosemaree
Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, v11 n4 p25-28 2006
The author recently read a research paper by Padberg (2002), in which the development of understanding associated with decimal fractions was studied. Padberg (2002) outlined the situation that existed in Germany, where students were introduced to decimal fractions in the sixth year of school. He claimed that it was assumed students would have a deep understanding of decimals because of their prior knowledge of decimals through real life associations. Germany, like Australia, operates around a decimal system, and students are frequently seeing and working with decimals in everyday situations. When decimals were introduced into the classroom, Padberg (2002) noted that it was assumed the students would easily make the transition from this real life experience to abstract notation and demonstrate a deep understanding of the concept of decimals. The results of the research, however, indicated that students did not easily make this transition from the real life concrete experiences to abstract notation used in the classroom. The author's experience as a classroom teacher in the middle years of schooling supports the conclusions of Padberg, that despite the evidence of decimals in real life and the frequent use of decimals in written and spoken form, students do not translate this background knowledge across to abstract contexts in the classroom. Thus, in this article, she describes a sequence of activities to help develop students' understandings of decimal fractions. (Contains 4 figures.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Primary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Germany