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Tutorial Letter 201/2/2018



Semester 2

Department of Mathematics Education

This tutorial letter contains important information

about your module.

Activity 1.1 Write a short paragraph on your experiences as a learner in a Mathematics class
when you were at school. Write at least one good experience and one bad experience.

There is no wrong or right answer.

Activity 1.2 (pictures 3 and 4)

(Some of the students’ opinions)

Picture 3: It looks like the old or traditional classroom set-up with many learners listening to
the teacher with fear.

Picture 4: This is a small group activity with manipulatives; learners are explaining to the

Activity 1.3 No 2 Choose any three words and use each in a sentence to relate them to the
doing of Mathematics.


The student will be able to calculate the area of a triangle.

The student will describe the properties of a square.

The student will list the disadvantages of rote learning.

Activity 1.6
Explain the following:

Assimilation: It occurs when new concepts fit into an existing network of ideas. The
new information expands the pre-existing network. It refers to the use of an existing
schema to give meaning to new experiences. Assimilation is based on learners'
abilities to notice similarities among objects and match new ideas to those they
already possess.

Accommodation: It takes place when new concepts do not fit into an existing network
of ideas. The brain has to revamp or re-organise the network to accommodate the
new concepts. It is also a process of altering existing ways of seeing things or ideas
that do not fit into an existing schemata.

Disequilibrium: When new knowledge and pre-existing knowledge do not match and
there is a need to modify the rearrangement of concepts and connections so as to
accommodate the new knowledge.

Reflective thought: A sift through the pre-existing ideas in order to find those that
seem related to the new knowledge and how they are related.


Activity 1.7 (1a and 1b)

1. Four children had three boxes of Smarties. They decided to open all three boxes, to share
the Smarties fairly. There were 52 Smarties in each box. How many Smarties did each child
Now look at two attempts from Grade 4 learners to solve this problem.
a. Explain in your own words how the two learners solved the problem.
b. What is an algorithm?

Michael: Got a total of 156 Smarties. Uses repeated subtraction as well as the division
to arrive to 39 Smarties each.

Romy: Got a total of 156 Smarties, then uses grouping and sharing to arrive to
39 Smarties. This implies that each learner will get 39 Smarties.

An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure that leads to the expected result.

Activity 1.9 (Bullets 4–6)

Read the section above about “rote learning”. Seven weaknesses are given at the end. Write
your own interpretation about each of these weaknesses (do not just repeat what is said here).

4. The facilitator pays little attention to the needs, interests and development of learners.
The teacher who uses this method is more concerned about getting through the work done,
and is not concerned about how students learn and if they are really learning.

5. Knowledge learned by rote learning is hardly connected to the learners’ existing ideas.
Learners using this method of learning are not encourage to link the new knowledge learned
to the pre-existing knowledge.

6. Rote learning will almost never contribute to a useful network of ideas.

Learners using this method of learning do not really build a useful network of ideas.

Activity 1.11 No 3
Explain what it means that understanding exists on a continuum from relational to instrumental
understanding. Give an example of a mathematical concept and explain how it might be
understood at different places along a continuum.

This question does not only require the definition of instrumental and relational
understandings, but also to explain what a continuum is in relation to these concepts.
Instrumental understanding is knowing how to use rules and procedures without
reference to previously learnt information, and not linking to explanations of why these
rules exist. In relational understanding, there are logically explained links and reasons
between the concepts, rules and procedures. The more those links are defined and
associated to many concepts, the more one approaches relational understanding. Very
few links mean you are close to instrumental understanding and many links mean you
are closer to relational understanding.

Relational understanding is understanding of what to do and why. All concepts are in a

connected network. When a learner wants to recall a concept, all other related
concepts are understood and can easily be recalled.

Instrumental understanding is on the opposite side of the continuum of understanding.

It is called “doing without understanding”. Ideas are isolated and cannot be connected.

Activity 1.13 No 3
List at least five models (apparatus/manipulative) that you will use in your mathematics
teaching. Indicate in each case how you will use the particular model mentioned.

1. Dienes block – to model base 10 concepts

2. Spinners – to model chances (in probability)

3. Arrows – to model positive and negative integers

4. Rod – to estimate the measure of length

5. Geoboards – to model property of two-dimensional shapes

Activity 1.14 No 1
Define each of the five behaviours and the disposition mentioned.

Conceptual understanding – understanding mathematical concepts, operations and


Procedural understanding – being able to carry out mathematical procedures

flexible, accurately and efficiently

Productive disposition – to see Mathematics as sensible, useful and worthwhile

Strategic competence – to formulate, represent and solve mathematical problems

Adaptive reasoning – logical thought, reflection, explanation and justification


Activity 2.1
On page 54 and 58 to 61 of your prescribed textbook, three types of approaches to teaching
related to problem solving are discussed.

Teaching for problem solving – teaching the skills that students can use later to solve

Teaching about problem solving – teaching students how to solve problems giving them
general strategies

Teaching through problem solving – learning Mathematics concepts through solving


NB: Elaborate on each approach.

Activity 2.6 No 2
Write down any mathematical task for intermediate phase learners where you can use at least
two entry points.


Use two different methods to work out

1. use area method

2. use algorithm

Activity 2.7 No 2
2. Use your own words to describe the teacher’s actions in the before, during and after phases
of a problem solving lesson. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.

Before: Getting ready, activate prior knowledge, be sure the problem is understood, and
establish a clear understanding

During: Teacher instructs students to work; encourages students’ mathematical thinking;

provides support and guidance; provides worthwhile opportunity extensions

After: Class discussion; the teacher promotes Mathematics learning communities; listens
actively; and summarises main ideas

These questions relate to chapters 11 to 13 of the prescribed book:

1 Name the three ways in which one can count a set of objects, and explain how
these methods of counting can be used to combine concepts and written names
for numbers.
Counting by one: Count each piece on the items given.
Counting by groups of tens and ones: Count a group of ten as single item.
Non-standard base ten: Group the pieces flexibly, including tens and ones.

2 Use the number 78 to explain “face value” as one of the distinct levels of the
understanding of place value and discuss how you could deal with the challenge at
this level to ensure that learners gain a full understanding of place value.
"Place value" is the value of the location of a digit in a number. The place value is
determined by how many places the digit lies to the right or the left of the decimal
point. The numeral 78 have two place values, which are tens and units, that is, 7
tens and 8 units. Face value is the number we see, for example78: 7, which is in
the place value of tens and its value is 70, but it is seen as seven. Therefore, the
face value of a digit in a numeral is simply the number you see.

3 Test the number 102 582 557 for divisibility by 8, 9 and 11. (Do not factorise or
divide – no calculator may be used.)
The number 102 582 557 tests for divisibility of 8: A number is divisible by 8 if it is
divisible by both 4 and 2. The number 102 582 557 is not divisible by 8 because
the last digit is an odd number which will obviously not be divided by 2.
A number is divisible by 9 if the sum of all the digits is a multiple of 9.
1+0+2+5+8+2+5+5+7=35. The sum is not multiple of 9. Therefore, 102 582 557 is
not divisible by 9.
A number is divisible by 11 if the following condition holds: Add every second
digit, and also add the others, then subtract the two sums. If the answer is 0 or
multiple 11, then the number is divisible by 11.
Other digits: 1+2+8+5+7=23
Every second digit: 0+5+2+5=12
23-12=11; therefore, 102 582 557 is divisible by 11.

4 The Sieve of Eratosthenes is a well-known method of finding prime numbers.

4.1 Use the method given alongside the chart to find all the prime numbers
between 1 and 100.

Sieve of Eratosthenes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90
91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100

4.2 Describe two ways in which the hundreds chart can be used to illustrate
place value.
As you move diagonally from left to right, the last digit numbers are increasing
by 1 and from right to left, the last digit numbers are decreasing by 1.
The unit digits in a column all end with the same number, which is the same as
the number at the top of chart. The tens digits are in ascending order.

4.3 Use the factor tree to determine the prime factors of 240 and express it as a
product of its prime factors.
Factor tree Ladder method
2 240
240 2 120
2 60
2 12 2 30
0 3 15
5 5
2 60 1

2 30

2 15 2  2  2  2  3  5  24  3  5

3 5

5 Draw Dienes blocks to show how to find the solution to:
a) 107 + 19
b) 158  109

1 flat = 10 longs, 1 long = 10 tinies

Add tinies together = 16 tinies

Exchange 10 tinies into 1 long


Exchange 1 long into 10 tinies


Cross out a flat and 9 tinies


6 Use the vertical and horizontal algorithms to find the sum or difference of the
following. (Explain the "borrow" and "carry" concepts.)
a) 601 + 935 + 370
b) 458 – 263
Horizontal algorithm
Group the hundreds, tens and the units together.
= 100+150-60+5= 100+90+5
We have 5 tens and we should subtract 6 tens. For this to be possible, we then
borrow 10 tens from 200 to make a total of 15 tens. We can then subtract 6 tens
from 15 tens and we remain with 9 tens. The final answer is 1 hundreds, 9 tens
and 5 units.

Vertical algorithm:

Th H T U
6 0 1
+ 9 3 5
+ 3 7 0
1 9 0 6
3 tens plus 7 tens makes 1 hundred so it should be carried to the hundred
column and 19 hundreds 10 hundreds is the same as 1 thousand.

4 3 1
5 8
2 6 3
1 9 5
Borrow 10 tens from hundreds to make 15 tens. You then remain with 3 tens.
Subtract 6 tens from 15 tens and you remain with 9 tens.

7 Use the number line to show the subtraction of 500 – 472.

 100  100  100
 72

0 28 100 200 300 400 500


8 Use the method of compensation to show how you can make the multiplication of
198 x 25 easier.
198 25
Add two to 198 to make it 200.
(198  2  2)  25 (200 - 2) x 25
= 200 20  200 5  50 or = (200 x 25) - (2 x 25)
 4000  1000  50 = 5000 - 50
 5000 50 = 4 950
 4950

9 “Algorithm invention is itself a significantly important process of 'doing

mathematics'.” Discuss this statement by giving two valid points.
Students are involved in the process of sense making and building confidence.
Learners’ valuable view of doing Mathematics is revealed.


10 According to Van de Walle et al, an estimate refers to a number that is a suitable

approximation for an exact number, given the particular context. In view of this
statement, briefly discuss each of the following ideas and, for each, provide an
appropriate example:
Measurement estimation: Determining an approximate measure without
making an exact measurement; for example, estimate the length of a room or
weigth of bag of tomatoes.
Quantity estimation: Approxiamating the number of items in a collection; for
example, estimate the number of students in a hall.
Computational estimation: Determining a number that is an approximation that
we cannot or do not need to determine precisely; for example, approximate the
amount we can pay for groceries in a shop without adding the cost prices of

1. Give examples of each of three categories of fractions. [Illustrate it using diagrams.]

1.1 Area model:

The shaded part represents

Parts should be equal

1.2 Set model of fraction

Nine of the fifteen counters are purple or are purple.

1.3 Length model

1 2 3 4
2 2 2 2

0 1 2

2 In the context of choosing a “whole”, explain when a “quarter” is not always equal
to a “quarter”. Illustrate it using an example.

A quarter of container A is not equal to a quarter of container B since the containers are not equal in

A quarter A quarter

1 1
OR of 20 is not the same as of 100
4 4


3 If the given circle represents one whole, then show

 A half

 Two thirds

 Five sixths

4 If 24 counters are a whole set, how many are there in five sixths of the set?
Illustrate it using an example.

Five sixths of a set of 24 counters is 20 counters.

     
     

     
5 If 9 counters
 are 
a whole, how many
 are there
 in seven
 thirds of the set? Illustrate
it using an example.

  

  
  
  
  
Thereare 21 counters in seven
 thirds of the set. 
  
  

6 Mavis ate of her birthday cake. She decided to give her brother of what is left

of the cake. What fraction of the cake was eaten by the brother?

10 3
What is left is  
10 10



2 7
Her brother ate of
3 10

2 7

3 10

14 7
 
30 15

7 If this trapezium was 50% of the whole, what would the whole look like?

8 Below are two representations made by learners to explain the concept

(four fifths of 15).

Learner B
Learner A

Answer the following questions:

8.1 What is the whole in each case?
The whole for learner A is 20 counters.


The whole for learner B is 15 counters.

8.2 Into how many parts did learner A divide the whole?
Learner A divided the whole into five parts.
8.3 Into how many parts did learner B divide the whole?
Learner B divided the whole into five parts.
8.4 Explain in detail which one of the learners showed an understanding of the
concept four fifths of 15.

Learner B divided the whole into five groups of three. The learner then shaded four of
them. This is correct because the denominator will always indicate the number of parts
or groups into which the whole is divided. After grouping, the learner still have 15
counters and this shows an understanding of the concept.

Learner A divided the whole into five groups of four and shaded four groups. The whole
in this case is 20 instead of 15. It implies the learner does not have an understanding of
the concept.

10 Use the following models to show the equivalence of the fractions :

10.1 A set model: A set of 8 counters divided into 4

groups of which 3 groups coloured
6 counters of 8 are coloured
green, that is 6 green gives you 3
8 4

Same number of

10.2 An area model:

Same length



3 6 The fractions occupy the
10.3 A number line: 𝑎𝑛𝑑 : same position
4 8
Equivalent fractions
3 6

4 8
1 2 3 4 Quarters
4 4 4 4

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
0 Eighths
8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

11 Compare the fractions by making use of the area model. (You

should be able to arrange the fractions from small to big.) Make sure that
you choose the whole correctly, and make accurate drawings.

12 What is the difference between standard algorithms and student-invented strategies? Give
at least two valid points.

Standard algorithm is a rule that can be used, a procedure that is carried out which is
usually learned by rote, with little understanding.

Invented strategies are methods which learners produce themselves. It is usually built
on the concepts, which learners know already. One often finds that learners invent their
own strategies in a way that they understand, and not necessarily the way in which the
teacher explains.


13 Use a standard algorithm to calculate: .

2 1 2 1
6  LCD = 6 6 
3 6 3 6

36  4  1
 OR =
Same denominator

31 36 4 1
 =  
6 6 6 6

1 31 1
5  or 5
6 6 6

14 Markus travelled one quarter of his destination. He still has to cover 24 km to

reach the third-way mark.
14.1 How many kilometres does he still have to travel to reach the destination?
[Use a diagram to help you.]
1.1 How many kilometres does he still have to travel to reach the destination? [Use a diagram to
help you.]
One quarter of
destination 24 km km still to be travelled

2 3 4
4 4 4
0 1 2 3
Start 3 3 3
Destination (x)
1 1 1
 
3 4 12

24 km is of the total journey.

Therefore, total journey is 12  24  288

The distance still to be travelled = 24 + of total journey

= 24 +  288

= 216 km

14.2 Identify mathematical concepts and skills (background information) that
learners need to master to be able to answer this question.
Learners should have understanding of concepts like multiples, equivalent
fractions, calibrating the number line and so forth.

15 Use “stage 3 of teaching subtraction of fractions” to explain and illustrate how you
will solve the following:
(Refer to unit 4 of Tutorial Letter 501.)


The whole into 12 divided parts

Shade 3  9 of the whole

4 12

Shade 1  4 of the whole

3 12

Subtract: 3  1  5
4 3 12


3 1 9 4
   Make denominators the same
4 3 12 12




16 Develop an activity for Grade 5 learners to assist them in understanding that the
numerator and the denominator are not separate values but a single number. Use
a number line to demonstrate your answer.
ACTIVITY: What does the fraction mean?
 The bottom part of the fraction tells us into how
many parts the whole is divided. The bottom part
is called the denominator. The numerator counts.
 The top part of the fraction tells us how many of The denominator tells what
the parts we shade/consider. The top part is is being counted.
called the numerator.

Example: Look at the number line from 0 to 1. (This is one unit or a whole.) The way
in which we demarcate the number line will tell us into what fraction parts
the unit is divided.
two thirds

0 1 2 1
3 3

A whole divided into three

equal parts called thirds
The considered part is written as .
We read it: two thirds

The 3 shows into how

The 2 shows how many parts many parts the whole
of the whole is considered is divided

The fraction will always be written as a unit and as it expresses the parts of a whole.

Examples of tasks
1. Show three quarters on the number line?

1 2 3
4 4 4

0 1 2 3 4

1 7 10
2. Show the following on the number line: , ,
3 3 3

1 7 10
3 3 3

0 1 2 3 4 5

1 4 8
3. Draw a number line and show , , on it.
5 5 5

1 4 8
5 5 5

0 1 2 3



These questions relate to chapter 20 of the prescribed book:

1 Describe in your own words the first three Van Hiele levels of geometric thought
(levels 0, 1 and 2). How will the activities that you will give learners on these three
levels differ?
Level zero deals with “what shapes look like”. Learners recognise and name figures on
their visual characteristics. Learners identify and reason about shapes and other
geometric configurations based on shapes as visual wholes rather than on geometry
properties. Some properties of the shapes are included in this level, such as right angles
parallel sides etc., but only in an informal manner.
Learners recognise and characterise shapes by their properties. For example, they can
identify a rectangle as a shape with opposite sides parallel and four right angles. When
learners investigate a certain shape, they come to know the specific properties of that
figure. For example, they will realise that the sides of a square are equal and that the
diagonals are equal. Students discover the properties of a figure but see them in isolation
and as having no connection with each other. Learners at this level still do not see
relationships between classes of shapes (e.g., all rectangles are parallelograms), and they
tend to name all properties they know to describe a class, instead of a sufficient set.
Learners are able to form abstract definitions and distinguish between necessary and
sufficient sets of conditions for a class of shapes, recognising that some properties imply
others. When learners reason about and compare the properties of a figure, they realise
that there are relationships between them.
The relationships being perceived:
• exist between the properties of a specific figure, and
• exist between the properties of different figures.

2 One of the main differences between the reasoning at the visual level and that at
the descriptive level lies in the difference in judgement that the child makes.
Learning at the visual level relies mainly on an intuitive understanding of the object
or situation. That is why the child does not see the need to reason about what is
experienced. The child will not see the need to reason about the relationships
between a rhombus and a square. The child is so strongly bound by the intuitive
knowledge that (s)he will argue that a square is also a rhombus.

3 Draw the triangles described by the following properties. Do your sketches using a
ruler and ensure they are very neatly drawn. (You may also do it on a computer.)

3. 1 Equilateral triangle

3.2 Isosceles right-angled triangle



4 Which quadrilaterals are described by the following characteristics? (Name them.)

Make a neat drawing of each. Do not assume properties that are not given.

4.1 Trapezoid (trapezium): One pair of opposite sides parallel.

4.2 Kite: One diagonal bisects the other diagonal perpendicularly.

5 Is a rhombus a special kind of square? Motivate your answer.

No. It is not a square because none of its interior angles is equal to 900 but all sides are
equal in length as in the case of a square.

6 Is a rectangle a special kind of parallelogram? Motivate your answer.

Yes, a parallelogram is a quadrilateral with two pairs of opposite sides equal and
parallel, while a rectangle is a quadrilateral with two pairs of opposite sides equal
and parallel but also forming 900 angles between the adjacent sides.

7 Complete the following table to classify and describe the 3D objects. Name each
of the objects (a mathematical name).
3D objects Mathematical Polyhedron No of No No
name or non- faces of of
polyhedron edges vertices
Ellipsoid Non- 1 0 0
a polyhedron
b Cylinder polyhedron 3 0 0

c Tetrahedron Polyhedron 4 6 4

d Sphere Non-
1 0 0

Octahedron Polyhedron 8 12 6

8 Draw neat diagrams of the following polyhedral. (Name each polyhedron.)

8.1 Polyhedron made up of
a) Four triangular faces


b) Octagonal and triangular faces

Octagonal pyramid


8.2 Hexahedron, which is a pyramid

8.3 Prism, which is made up of two triangles and rectangles

9 Draw the nets of the following polyhedra:

9.1 Octahedron

9.2 Hexahedron

9.3 Pentagonal prism

10 Draw the front, top and side view of the following structure:

Top view

Sid View
Fro vie
nt w