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Research method guidance: Dr. Anju Saigal

What an exploration of the Ganak (the open abacus)

How Core activity is a 3-base game based on Ganak. Significant Outcome With the grasp of abacus principle they were able to make the meaning of “+” & “х” signs in the expanded form of numbers.

children’s “mistakes” suggest us that how far the children have understood & what else is needed, in order to complete their understanding of x concept.

I found that the children were confused in numerical representation of the numbers

As I found in the empirical data (illustrated around) while working with class 6 children that they are confused using zeros in order to write any number They wrote like 100030024 for one thousand three hundred twenty four seems sensable.

They fail at places to differentiate between the face value of each symbol in a number and the complete value of the same symbol (Maria Varelas 1997).

What is place value system? (an article “Place Value: Problem Solving and Written Assessment” by Sharon R. Ross. 2002) “Our numeration system is characterized by the following four mathematical properties: 1. Additive property – The quantity represented by the whole numeral is the sum of the values represented by the individual digits. 2. Positional property – The quantities represented by the individual digits are determined by the positions that they hold in the whole numeral. 3. Base-ten property – The values of the positions increase in powers of ten from right to left. 4. Multiplicative property – The value of an individual digit is found by multiplying the face value of the digit by the value assigned to its position.”

Other decimal system: Egyptian number system

**for 1234 (as in place value system) Differences with our place value system
**

1. If we follow the above system we will need to keep generating infinitely many new symbols for ten, hundred, and thousand so on. 2. The above system does not require specific position for the symbols. If I write 1234 using Egyptian symbols I may write using these symbols in many other combinations as well and the Zero is not needed in this system.

.

How Numbers are taught?

In mainstream cases children are asked to write the numbers in columns marked out as units, tens and hundreds. In the alternative approaches Materials used in Whole number approach

Color-coded 100 beads string - The Ganit mala

**Materials used in place value based approach
**

The Diene’s block The matchsticks bundle

**The Material review
**

used in Place Value based Approach

Strengths It explain the base ten property of Numbers Develops the grouping logic in place value It explains & facilitates the algorithms very clearly Issues •These materials don’t follow the positional notation system. The column are externally imposed to make similarity with.

Example 45. If so, then we can write this number as 4 5 • Strength & need of the additive (multiplicative) composition of numbers is simply lost. It comes exactly same in Ganak as we see in our number system.

13

13

**The Ganak as solution
**

‘Ganak’ is a bit modified version of roman abacus, was used in ‘Bal Vaigyanik’ as a tool to teach ‘decimal’ & ‘place value’

“Dr Vijay Verma even says in his article that the Abacus was widely used other than India and perhaps this affected the evaluation of number in those areas”. This, at least, implies that the Abacus is very much similar to our numbers system.

Research Question

How can I explore the Ganak* to teach more about the numerical representation system to few children of grade 6 of middle school Kulamari village in activity based classes conducted by Researcher teacher?

* The Ganak (the stick abacus) used in Bal Vaigyanik class 6 – This abacus has thin rods fixed vertically that can fit in exactly 9 beads, for tenth bead remove all the beads and put one bead in next rod.

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – a 3-base game based on Ganak

Core activity – The 3-base game based on Ganak Naming the position

Core activity – The 3-base game based on Ganak Value of a combination of pebbles

Conceptual Map of the Study method

The children enjoyed playing the three base game and got hold of the game They also learnt naming the boxes in order to know the value of the combination. All the children have learnt to play it

The entire class was able to associate the combination with quantity (number)

They were able to write the combination in sequence. All selected 11 children even more could do this for sure

They also used the name of the boxes in order to know the value of the combination. 3 out of 11 did it by

counting from 1 to 56.

After pictorial representation they were able to write using Indo-Arabic symbols as well. All selected 11 children were able to write the two base numbers. 3 children wrote up to 7 to 8 places of 3 base numbers.

The children designed their own game of different bases by extending the part of a box and did all the exercises which they did with 3 base game

The class was divided in to 4 groups and all the groups designed their game.

Then to my surprise the children (8 out of 11) were now able to write the pebble combination in the form of additive (multiplicative) composition in order to calculate value of the number.

Continued ….2

Continued …. 3

An interesting Observation He named the boxes 1, 5 & 25. Then he added first 25+5+1 for the first row of pebbles then doubled it and then added the unit box’s left out pebble and got the answer 63

Conclusion & Recommendations

It is also worth sharing that this small project was taken up in order to learn the research methodology so this should not be seen as cutting age research but certainly it can be treated as a pilot study. Although I am interested to see how the Ganak can be explored? But I am still left with few issues/questions on the study if it is seen as pilot study of efficacy of Ganak to teach place value.

Conceptual issues 1.The connection between the positional notation system and our numbers seems a jump. I only assume that this understanding will help a child to understand number batter in future? 2.Why place value should be taught? Issues on method 1.I am unable to give justified enough rationale why did I conduct the study in grade 6? 2.Various other factors like motivated teacher, time & syllabus constrains and school management .

References

1. Harvey, G. (1998).. Writing with Sources: A Guide for Harvard Students. Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company Inc. This book helped me to organize the paper and guide me where to look for resources in the paper and the book is used contently till the end of the paper. 2. IGNOU AMT 01 - Teachers of primary school mathematics Aspect of teaching Mathematics-1 3. IGNOU LMT-01, Approach to Learning 1 by IGNOU School of science 4. “The Teaching of Place Value –Cognitive Considerations” presented by Usha Menon www.hbcse.tifr.res.in/episteme1/allabs/ushaabs.pdf

5. “Teaching Place Value and Double-Column Addition” by Constance Kamii and Linda Joseph Taken from ENC Online.

6. Bal Vaigyanik class 6 chapter “Ganak ke Khel” – a Science textbook cum workbook for Hoshangabad Science teaching programme (HSTP)developed by Eklavya

References

7. RME - http://www.fi.uu.nl/en/projects/realme.html

8.

About action research from net

9. The Dienes blocks http://www.zoltandienes.com/what_is_a_base.pdf

10. Khushi Khushi classes 1 to 5– Primary textbook cum workbook for Prathmik Shiksha Karyakram (PRASHIKA) developed by Eklavya

11. HBCSE mathematics textbook of class 3

12. “Children Learn Mathematic” developed by the TAL team, Freudenthal Institute (FI) Utrecht University and National Institute for Curriculum Development (SLO), Nederland 13. chapter 1 “Early Calculation” from http://ed-thelen.org/comphist/CBC-Ch-01.pdf,

References

14. History of computing from www.geocities.com/paris/chateau/6110/abacus.html,

15.

VSO teacher’s networks newsletter (spring 1999),

16. an article “Ganak se Ganith ki Samagh” by Dr. Vijay Shankar Verm, published in educational bi-monthly journal (Hindi) by Eklavya 17. www.questia.com, “Place Value: Problem Solving and Written Assessment” by Sharon R. Ross 18. A paper Using concept mapping in the development of the concept of positional notation system by Jean Schmittau, James J. Vagliardo, from Proc. of the Second Int. Conference on Concept Mapping 19. A paper “Developing the concept of the place value” by Mala Saraswathy Nataraj & Michael O. J. Thomas, from the proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the mathematics education research group of Australia

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