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ERIC Number: EJ794022
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-1326-0286
Teaching Children to Understand Operations in Early Childhood
Ladhams, Jan
Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, v10 n4 p19-26 2005
The author discusses teaching early child mathematics in an environment of unique challenge in a remote region of Western Australia. The challenges include: (1) a high proportion of transient students; (2) a student population that is forty percent aboriginal, many for whom English is a second language; (3) students who consistently perform below the general student population in numeracy assessments; (4) teachers who are experiencing professional isolation; and (5) high financial costs, time commitments, and logistical difficulties in gathering personnel at central meeting places. In such an environment, teachers use a wide range of pedagogies in their classrooms, becoming more diagnostic in their approach to teaching the operations and using successful learning experiences to initiate purposeful mathematical dialogue, arouse curiosity, challenge thinking, and actively engage students in learning. By noting specific weaknesses, listening to the kinds of questions students ask, and implementing learning experiences to address these needs, teachers become more informed about the mathematics appropriate to each student level. By targeted action, educators can introduce children to a wider range of arithmetic problems at an early stage, begin to use more mathematical language, and participate in collegial discussions across levels. As a result of being taught a wide range of problem types to which all basic operations apply, children develop flexibility in their thinking and use of numbers. (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: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia