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ERIC Number: EJ1047761
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Linking the Van Hiele Theory to Instruction
Howse, Tashana D.; Howse, Mark E.
Teaching Children Mathematics, v21 n5 p305-313 Dec 2014
Geometry is the branch of mathematics that addresses spatial sense and geometric reasoning. Students begin to understand geometry through direct interaction with their physical world. Because it is the study of the physical attributes of the environment, geometry has relevance for every student; the world becomes a big classroom. As students see, touch, and manipulate shapes, they begin to develop spatial reasoning skills. Although geometry is an integral part of the curriculum, many students fail to develop a deep understanding of basic geometric concepts. According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM 2000), K-grade 12 geometry instruction should empower students with the ability to analyze properties of geometric shapes and to base sound arguments on the understanding of relationships among these properties. Kindergarten students should be able to "describe attributes and parts of two-dimensional shapes" (NCTM 2006, p. 24). Geometry instruction at the primary level is best facilitated using concrete models, drawings, and dynamic software as appropriate. This article will discuss activities that are designed to use attribute blocks to facilitate students' development of spatial reasoning skills. The Van Hiele theory offers a framework for reflecting on these activities and their instructional value in fostering deep geometric understandings for students.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A