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ERIC Number: EJ851668
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0126-7663
Helping Children Talk about Shapes: A Case Study with Ten Children in the Learning Support Programme
Fong, Ng Swee
Journal of Science and Mathematics Education in Southeast Asia, v29 n1 p21-40 Jun 2006
This paper describes an activity which attempts to change the discourse of a mathematics classroom with the specific intent to help children who may have difficulties with mathematics and ways of communicating. Ten 8-year old children in the Learning Support Programme were engaged in an open-ended geometric task. In this paper a brief description of van Hiele's theory of geometric reasoning and Vygotsky's socio-cultural theory of cognitive growth are presented in the introduction. This is followed by a detailed description of the open-ended task which required children to use the four basic shapes--triangles, squares, rectangles and circles to create animals with a tail. The findings showed that while the children were able to use the four basic shapes to make animals with the given condition, they were challenged to explain why the animal they had selected was their favourite. Suggestions on how to improve the children's communication skills are discussed. (Contains 7 figures.)
Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics (SEAMEO RECSAM). Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. Tel: +011-60-4-658-3266; Fax: +011-60-4-657-2541; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore