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ERIC Number: EJ962624
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
Visualizing Decimal Multiplication with Area Models: Opportunities and Challenges
Rathouz, Margaret
Issues in the Undergraduate Mathematics Preparation of School Teachers, v2 Aug 2011
This article describes a pilot study in which pre-service elementary teachers (PSTs) used rectangular area models on base-10 grid paper to begin making sense of multiplication of decimal fractions. Although connections were made to multi-digit whole number multiplication and to the distributive property, the PSTs were challenged by interpreting geometric aspects of the models they produced. In the context of these activities, the PSTs confronted concepts of dimensionality, unit labeling, and unit coordination that were not at issue in the domain of whole numbers. Tasks that help learners distinguish between one- and two-dimensional measurements are suggested as potential remedies. (Contains 6 figures.)
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Texas Tech University. Broadway and Boston, Lubbock, TX 79409-1042. Tel: 806-742-2566; Fax: 806-742-1112; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A