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Teacher Interview

1) What are the student's strengths/weaknesses?

a. The student has little motivation to do class work. Compared to the other students

in class, he is extremely slow.

b. If the student stopped and really took the time to do his work he is able to do it

2) Why is there difficulty?

a. This student has a hard time gasping ideas. In terms ofclass time, the student has

an extremely short attention span.

3) Does the student have a Learning Disability?

a. The student has an IEP for a Learning Disability. He also participates in the Title

1 groups. He is in need ofextra instruction and extra time.

4) Are there family issues?

a. The students family has been contacted and seems to care, but has not come

through YET.
Student Observation

The setting for this observation is in an urban fifth grade classroom. There were about

twenty students in the room, and the student being observed, "Danny", sits on the far right side

of the room in the second to last row. Danny has nothing on his desk but a pencil, and he is

slouched down in his chair. While other students continually talk to each other, Danny sits


I would expect this student to be more aware of his surroundings and more social with his

peers. This class has a general issue with behavior and talking out of turn. Many times it is a

domino effect. If one student gets out of line everyone else in the class follows. This student is

not an outcast from the rest of the class, and he seems to have a lot of friends. I would expect the

student to partake in the chatter, rather than sitting there calmly. Also, I would expect that the

student, being in school, would be more attentive. There are lessons being taught in the room,

students talking, worksheets being passed out, and I would expect the student to be more

responsive to the world around him. Due to his inattentiveness, I would expect the student to

have a lot of issues completing his work.

During this observation there was a math lesson being taught. After the teacher gives out

the worksheet on angles, the student pays little attention to the teacher's direction. He begins to

play with his pencil under his desk and then gets in trouble for it. Following this reprimand, the

class was instructed to turn over their worksheet and begin. The student slouched deeper into his

seat, held onto his pencil and put his head on his desk. After a few minutes of rest, Danny picks

his head up and starts to write down the notes off the board. One can see that he is squinting;
therefore, the board may be hard for him to read. After writing down some notes the student

becomes unaware again. He stops writing and stares at the class around him. He tries to start the

worksheet again. In frustration Danny hits his desk with his fist and then throws his head back.

As the teacher sees the students not working she goes to the board and explains how to do each

problem. Danny does finish the worksheet and gets up to tum it in. While all of this is going on,

the other students in the class are chaotic. Eventually, the teacher shuts the lights off and starts to

yell. Everyone must put away all of their things and sit in silence. Danny falls into his seat and

puts his hand over his face. The children sit with their heads down and are reprimanded for the

remaining ten minutes.

This student does and does not match my expectations. I am surprised that he did not

participate in all of the class chaos. It seems to be a snowball effect, and he never got caught in

it. Something that matched my expectations was the students lack of work ethic. He had little

motivation to write down the notes and listen to the teacher when she was explaining the

worksheet. As a result he was very frustrated. With the many worksheets the students complete

daily, I would expect that the students are not engaged in their learning. As a result of this

disengagement the student gets frustrated and the class gets out of control. I would expect the

child to behave differently if the situation were to be different. The routine of the explanation of

a worksheet, pass out the worksheet, complete the worksheet, get yelled at, and sit with your

head down is a common occurrence in this classroom. If the student were to be more engaged in

the lesson, his behavior would follow in suit.

In terms of development, the student seems to be at the same developmental levels as

many of the other students in the class, but overall the class is below grade level. The type of

work that the student is completing is not meaningful. The student is not developing his thinking
skills, and more than likely does not retain most of what he should in class. The student does not

have the ability to scaffold his thinking. Seeing that the students are not allowed to talk in class,

Danny has not developed his ability to solve problems and interact with other students. Instead of

speaking up about his frustrations, Danny simply shuts down. Generally speaking, Danny is not

at the developmental level of other students his age.

Overall I feel that this observation was not the best look at this students skill. There were

many interruptions and the student was not fully invested in his work. While I think that a new

situation would be beneficial to see how the student works in a math lesson, this observation was

very true to the classroom environment which the student is a part of. There are constant

interruptions and yelling. To some extent I feel that the students work is reflective of this

environment. The student is in need of some individual math help

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Classify Angles
Classify each angle as acute, obtuse, straight, or right.

1. 2. 3. 4.

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Survey Test: Testing Conditions

The survey test was administered in the workroom of the elementary school. The student

had a spot which was cleared off for him to work. The student sat on one side of the table with

only his pencil and test. I sat on the other side of the table. The door was closed so that there

would be little interruption while the student was taking the test. Upon starting the test the

student was told that this test would not be taken for a grade and to try his hardest. I also said thatl

I would not be able to answer any questions. If the student did not know how to complete the

question he was told to try his best to solve the problem, but not to be upset if he did not know

all of the answers.

While taking the test, the student stopped often to look out of the window. There would

be times when he would set his pencil down and simply stare. Other times he would stare at the

paper and not write anything for a few minutes. The beginning of the test seemed to be easier for

the student, and it become more difficult as the test went on. Often during the testing the student

would ask me how to do a problem or ask ifhis answer was correct. The fact that I could not

answer these questions for him was frustrating for him. He often chose to just write down a

random answer.

Towards the end of the test it was getting close to lunch time and the student asked me

how long he had until lunch. He was concerned with the time and paid less and less attention to

the test itself. When completed he put his head down and waited for me to take the test. He then

left the room and went down to lunch.

Survey Test: Results

After the student left the room I sat down and graded the survey test. On a side note, after

speaking with the students teacher and being given academic information about the student, the

student was given a survey test at a fourth grade level, although he is enrolled in the fifth grade.

This served to be a good choice because most of the areas on the test did not meet the mastery

level. The student excelled at operations, number concepts, and data. All other mathematical

areas on the test did not meet mastery level. The two areas which will be chosen for the probes

are time and fractions/decimals. In the following three weeks the student will be administered

three sets of probes.

Survey Test: Fractions and Decimals

Facts: Yes
Automatic and • Can subtract with decimals

Operations: No
Error patterns • Does not understand mixed numbers
• Orders fractions randomly

Problem Solving: Not Applicable
strategies used in
word problems

Concepts: No
The underlying
concept of the

Strategies: No
What strategies • Rewriting the problem
does the student • Places fractions in random order
bring to the
Survey Test: Time

Facts: Yes
Automatic and • Reading a clock

Operations: No
Error patterns • Time lapse
• Does not use hours and minutes

Problem Solving: No
Incorrect! • Inconsistent
inconsistent • Reading difficulty
strategies used in • Counting time
word problems

Concepts: No
The underlying
concept of the

Strategies: No
What strategies • Random answers
does the student • Answers all in hours
bring to the • Subtracted hours despite minutes (6 pm - 1 pm = 5 hours)
Survey Test
Name: Date: _

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5. Write the missing number:

989, qq'(), 991, ~9':, 993, -W

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6. Write this number...

Two thousand, six hundred, fifty-one

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7. Place the following numbers in order from smallest to
7 4 32 28 17 9 12

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8 . Take the information from the table and place the number
of births on the number line below.

Number of Babies Born in the US EQch Week

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9. Circle the best estimate for the weight of a whale.

2 Ibs 2 oz. 20 Ibs 8
.~ Circle the best estimate of a bowl of soup.
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2 cups 2 gallons 2 fl. oz. et~~

1'\. Circle the best measurement for the length of Q fire


35cm 35m ,'35km

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~. Circle the best estimate of the length of a football


~~~hei> 100 feet 100 yards 100 miles

,Fractions and t>ecimals: (j,

13. 49.99
~ - 15.09


~. ". Write the decimal for 58/100


re. Order this group of fractions from greatest to least.
3/15'!) 2/5 I 4/5!­

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Data, Statistics, and Probability

5, 16, 7, 38, 7, 42, 6, 23, 15

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17. What is the mean of the set of numbers?

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ts, What is the median of the set of numbers?

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so. What is the range of the set of numbers?

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23. How many snails crawled 13 inches?

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24. Create a bar graph for this data.

Animal Student Votes

Cat 32
Bird 4

Hamster 13
Rabbit 14
Horse 25


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25. How many edges does a cube have?

26. Circle the shape that could be a face of a cone.


B.~ How many sides does a pentagon have?



\~~ I have no vertices or flat faces. What am I?


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29. Circle the time that is shown on the clock.

10:52 1:50
~ 1:10

Angela rode the subway for 40 minutes. She got off at
6: 14. What time did she begin her trip?

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How much time passes between 1:25pm and 6: 15pm?
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Jessica has soccer practice at 2 :OOpm. It is 11:45am
right now. How much time does she have to wait until
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Fractions and Decimals

(4.2.10) Use a standard algorithm to add and subtract decimals with fewer than 4 errors
out of 17 questions given weekly.

(4.1.7) Name and write mixed numbers as improper fractions using objects or pictures
with fewer than 4 errors out of 17 questions given weekly.


(4.5.9) Add time intervals involving hours and minutes with fewer than 7 errors out of20
questions given weekly.

The two weak areas which have been chosen are fractions/decimals and time. After

analyzing the survey test and probes, one can see that this student does not understand the

underlying concepts of these subjects. In terms of fractions and decimals the student places

fractions in a random order, decimals are placed in order of largest to smallest despite their place

value, and sometimes the student re-writes the problem given. In terms of time, the student does

know how to tell time on an analogue clock, but does not understand time lapse. Often the

student is inconsistent with his answers and has difficulty reading. These difficulties are

hindering the student in moving forward in his mathematical studies, but there are many

strategies which can be used to aid the student in comprehension of various mathematical areas.

Strategy One

The strategy which will be discussed is decimals, and the important of place value. This

is a particular interest for the student because when placing in order decimals he ignores place

value. The article, "Place Value as the Key to Teaching Decimal Operations" was published in

Teaching Children Mathematics, a monthly journal. The article first states that many students are

weak in decimal knowledge due to their lack of knowledge in place value. Students who do not

have a flexible understanding of place value often confuse two things. First the students see the

decimal portion of a number as a whole number. An example of this is 1.16 is larger than 1.8

because 16 is a larger integer than 8. The second misconception is the more digits there are, the

smaller the number. An example of this is thinking that 12.94 and 12.32 are both smaller than

12.6 because they have more digits. These misconceptions are easily changed if the students

practice understanding and expanded their knowledge of place value.

In order to expand on place value knowledge, students must understand the "dth's".

Many students understand the idea of tens place, hundreds place, etc. but they may not see to the

right of the decimal as tenths, hundredths, thousandths, etc. In order to work with decimals the

student needs to be able to make that distinction. In order to help the student understand this

concept manipulatives are often used. With the base ten blocks, teachers can change the value of

what is "one unit" and make it possible for a single cube to be representative of a hundredth or

tenth. With this strategy, students will learn to be flexible with decimals. The ultimate goal of

this strategy is to have students see the right side of the decimal as an extension of the place

value system, and to see the decimal as one quantity. If students are flexible and comprehend

decimal place values, the two misconceptions mentioned above are no longer applicable. With

ample practice, the student will be able to apply their knowledge to number sense, decimals and

their close relative of fractions.

The second part of fractions/decimals is working with fractions. Knowing that often

students are confused by fractions, it is great to find ways to integrate and visualize these

concepts. In the article "Painting Watercolor Fractions" the main goal for this elementary school

teacher is for her students to get hands on work with fractions. The students start with a large

piece of paper and cut it into two pieces, and then four pieces, and then each of the four sections

get cut into an additional eight pieces. After the students have cut their paper they have seen the

process of making 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32. From there, the students are told to paint 2/8 of

one section blue, or 1/4 of the entire piece red. In order to follow the directions and make the art

grid correctly, the students must understand fractions. Furthermore, throughout the art making

process students are being questioned about their fractional pieces. These questions keep

students thinking about the mathematical concepts as the primary part of the lesson and the art
making as the secondary part. This project is helpful for students who need the visual support of


This project would be helpful to this specific student because he does not have an

understanding of what fractions are larger than or smaller than others. By physically cutting out

the pieces of the art grid the student would be able to see that although 8 pieces is more then 4

pieces, 1/8 is smaller than 1/4. Also, when the student is being questioned on what is bigger or

smaller, he has tangible fractions to work with. The art section of this project allows not only for

a visual representation, but it also alleviates some of the math pressure that this student feels.

Often the student gets very frustrated with math worksheets and problems. If the student is doing

a math assignment which is integrated with art he may be less likely to feel that pressure and

become frustrated.

Strategy Two

For the third strategy the student will be concentrating on time. Often, if a student

understands fractions and decimals they have a better understanding of time. The analogue clock

works with fractions. While the knowledge of fractions may help a student learn about time, this

student's difficulty is time lapse. Looking at the probes and survey test, it seems as if the student

does not understand how time "adds up". Although many of the number systems taught in school

are based on the idea of ten, time is not one of them. In the article "Time out for Time" this is a

topic which is discussed. Time is based on numbers which can be divided by 60, 24 and 365.

This is an abstract thought for many students. A strategy which this article suggests is to teach

the idea of time and the lapse of time though an informal unit of measurement. The specific

example is the use of a pendulum, but any consistent measure would work. Using the example of

a pendulum, the students are asked to see how many swings it takes for the students to complete
a task. This task could be singing a song or cleaning up after an activity. The number of swings

is the students unit of time. Once the students have this understanding of an informal unit of

measurement, the teacher can introduce its relationship to time. Students will begin to understand

what a minute really is, and how different measures of time relate to one another.

Understanding the relation of time will help this student understand time lapse. If the

student understands that once sixty minutes has passed it turns into one hour, the student will be

less likely to answer a question with one hour and seventy-five minutes. The student would then

realize that the answer would be two hours and fifteen minutes. This student would be able to

understand time intervals and their relation to how the clock is read.

Time intervals are important to understand how time repeats and how time moves

throughout the day. In the article "It's About Time", the author suggests various activities for a

class to do frequently. One of the suggestions it makes is for each student to create a clock and

create pictures of various activities which are done throughout the day. Examples of these

activities would be eating breakfast or lunch, taking the bus or going to soccer practice. The

students are instructed to place the events on clock where they would occur during their day.

Once they have done that the teacher can observe and ask them questions. "How much time is

between breakfast and lunch?" "If soccer practice starts at 3:45 pm and school ends at 3:15 pm,

how many minutes do you have to get to soccer?" The students would have a clock to look at in

order to figure out how much time there is between these activities. This will support the

students learning of time lapse and time intervals.

This will be a worthwhile strategy for this specific student for multiple reasons. This

activity can be done quickly, often, and it is able to be modified for many students. Seeing that

this student has a hard time paying attention, the fact that this is done quickly is effective. The
student gets a review of time lapse and working with the clock. He is not overloaded with

information and is able to work with his own clock at his own desk. In terms of modification,

each student may have as many or as few events on their clock. Where one student may have

five things to do that day, another may only have two. This allows every level oflearning to

participate in the same lesson.


The main goal for this student is to find strategies that will help him learn the

mathematical concepts, as well as accommodating to the students specific needs. The strategies

given above are all interactive and hands on. Seeing that the student is enrolled in a classroom

that is primarily worksheet driven and the student is not finding success, the worksheets are not

an effective route. Looking at the research, the strategies provided allow the student to work with

materials that are real and substantial, rather than trying to conceptualize abstract ideas.

Moreover, knowing that the student has difficulty with attention span and reading, the activities

alleviate some of that stress. These strategies should help the student comprehend the math and

be able to apply the knowledge elsewhere.

Full text Page 1 of 5

Document Translation: 9SYSTRAH
Translate this document to: Select Language .


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AUTHOR: Judith Sowder

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SOURCE: Teaching Children Mathematics v3 p448-53 April '97

The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Further
reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited.
Some years ago 1 examined several middle school students' understanding of numbers (Threadgill-Sowder 1984).
The answers that students gave me during that study showed me that their understanding, developed largely
through experiences in the elementary grades, was fuzzy and led me to undertake a decade of research on children's
number sense in the elementary and middle school grades. 1 will set the stage for this article by sharing two of the
questions 1 gave the students during that study and some of the responses 1 received.

The sum of 148.72 and 51.351 is approximately how much?
One student said, "Two hundred point one zero zero. Because the sum of 72 and 35 is about 100, and then 148
and 51 is about 200." (Note: 1 have used words for numerals where there is confusion about how the students read
the numbers.) Another said, "One hundred fifty point four seven zero, because one hundred forty-eight point seven
two rounds to one hundred point seven and fifty-one point three five one rounds to fifty point four zero zero. Add
those." Fewer than half the students gave 200 as an estimate of this sum. The others saw a decimal number as two
numbers separated by a point and considered rounding rules to be inflexible.

789 x 0.52 is approximately how much?
One response was "789. 1 rounded point five two up to 1 and multiplied." A second student said, "Zero. This (789)
is a whole number, and this (0.52) is not. It (0.52) is a number, but it is very small. You round 789 to 800, times
zero is zero." Only 19 percent of the students rounded 0.52 to 0.5 or V2 or 50 percent. Several of them said that
answering this question without paper and pencil was impossible and refused to continue. The majority of students
had little idea of the size of a decimal fraction and applied standard rounding rules that were inappropriate for this
Others who have studied elementary school children's understanding of decimal numbers have found that when

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. . . . . . . . . . . .(p. 161). These rules worked just often enough that students did not recognize that they
were in error. (1 suspect that many teachers will recognize them.)
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smaller than 12.17, because 4 is smaller than 17.
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than 12.7, because they each nave two digits and 12.7 has only one) .
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he second rule is sligntly more sophisticated; it;hwwilsonid==S4... 4/19/2008
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More recent research on decimal-number understanding confirms that man1a1, . . .t";~}~1:~f~J,1Pin~,

of; a summary of this work, see Hiebert (1992). The children in these studies were primarily' f
frO'm classes where the introduction to decimal numbers was brief so that sufficient time would remain for the more
difficult work of learning the algorithms for operating on decimal numbers. But time spent on developing students'
understanding of the decimal notation is not time wasted. Teachers with whom I have worked claim that much less
instructional time is needed later for operating on decimal numbers if students first understand decimal notation and
its roots in the decimal-place-value system we use. In the remainder of this article I will discuss decimal notation
and how we can help students construct meaning for decimal number.


The system of decimal numbers is an extension of the system of whole numbers and, as such, contains the set
of whole numbers. For the sake of convenience, this article refers to decimal numbers as those numbers whose
numerals contain a decimal point.
Decimal numbers, like whole numbers, are symbolized within a place-value syste~:i
'";O"""_«"<""f~"_.U'_'i~j;rhUS,children are taught that the 7 in 7200 i~"iii'th';;Ttf\~~l\,,!t<&ftce,
the 2 is in the unarMs place, a (j Is in the tens place, and a 0 is in the ones place. But when asked how many $100
bills could be obtained from a bank account with $7200 in it, or how many boxes of 10 golf balls could be packed
into a container holding 7200 balls, children almost always do long division, dividing by 100 or 10. They do not read
the numbers as 7200 ones or 720 tens, or 72 hundreds, and certainly not as 7.2 thousands. But why not? These
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'~ ~~lf.jJi~;~~~k';~~~-~<~~hq~;;~~~~"~~th';(6~~{ question and the

golf-ball question, and we need to practice reading numbers in different ways. Problems that require working with

powers and multiples of 10, both mentally and on paper, give students a flexibility useful with whole numbers, and

this flexibility makes it easier to extend instruction to decimal numbers.

'·"liif>_It~.The place-value name for 0.642 is six hundred forty-two

is form with 642'''Y.he~e we simply say six hundred forty-two, not 642 ones~!
IW_(thousandths, hundredths) or nths (tenths) with deci~i?F
ana the use ot d (tnousanc. hundred') ~.~ n (ten) with whole numbers. The additional digits in the whole number with
a similar name is another source of confusion. Whereas 0.642 is read 642 thousandths, 642 000 is read 642
thousand, meaning 642 thousand ones.
In a number containing a decimal point, the units place, not the decimal point, is the focal point of the number, as
shown in figure 1. The decimal point identifies where the units, or ones, place is located; it is the first place to the
left of the decimal point. The decimal point also tells us that to the right the unit one is broken up into tenths,
hundredths, thousandths, and so on. So really, 0.642 is 642 thousandths of 1. Put another way, 0.6 is six-tenths of
1, whereas 6 is 6 ones and . 6 te ,ut lust as 0.6 is six-tenths of 1, 6 is six-tenths of 10,60 is six-
tenths of 100, and so on. < n
in figure 2.
Similarly, starting with the smaller numbers, 0.006 is six-tenths of 0.01, whereas 0.06 is six-tenths of 0.1. Moving
in the opposite direction, 6000 is 6 hundreds 600 is 60 tens 60 i 0 ones! 6 is 60 tenths, 0.6 is 60 hundredths,
0.06 is 60 thousandths, and soon. 0 ' , • •_ " " ' , '.:::~~
: •• "~'
. . . These issues are discussed more fully in Sowder (1995).
Students who t2:...t:.2.!J:la~.sense of mathematics must become very confused when thev are told to
aring numbers such as 0.45 and 0.6. _ • .. .,,,, .
. . ''''~''!!'I .... , .• ,. r
nstead of annexing zeros ,0 <.. ,_', ""'.•, ;,'"". ".'0 ,<~"., ,', .
~1'N! which is more than 45 hundredths, or that 45
hundredths has only 4 tenths and what is left is less than another enth, so it must be less than 6 t e n t h s . - "
. .(.UliQ.JU;J• • '• .,.. . .·~
iil-leibert (1992) discusses research

showing that if students do not have a sound understanding of place value when they learn to add and subtract

decimal numbers, they make many errors that are very difficult to overcome because they are reluctant to relearn

how to operate on decimal numbers in a meaningful way.

Full text Page 3 of5

The unit summarized here was developed for a research study (Markovits and Sowder 1994) and resulted in
students' performing much better on later decimal topics in their textbook. This unit has also been used by teachers
who asked me for a way to teach decimals meaningfully. These teachers later told me that they thought the students

who completed this instructional unit had a much better grasp of decimal numbers than did their students in
prevJ.9YS l'~prS'<i" ' """,'
iiiie.(jbhs'1itUs;6I1d1tntng famJlJar1tVw"'~li .. which can be ordered from most catalogs of
mathematical aids. The materials consist of individual centimeter cubes, long blocks that are marked to look as
though ten cubes have been glued in a row; flat blocks that are marked to look as though ten longs have been glued
into a ten-by-ten block, and lar e. . blocks
" _
are marked to look as though ten flat blocks have been glued to form a
-- ._-- --.-.­

ten-by~ten-by-ten cube.
~ we,dUljij~'thenamlrig'
i ""•.. \0'.
Students must play with the blocks and learn relationships to answer such questions as the following:
* How many longs are in a flat?
* How many small blocks are in 3 longs?
* Where do you think there will be more longs, in 3 flats or in 1 big block?
* I have 6 longs and 3 small blocks. What do I have to add in order to have a flat?
* Which is bigger, that is, has ~_Iats or 48 longs?
In the next lesson we begin to"" " ' ',:';1<' " - : : The small blocks are used to represent the

number 1. Students then are asked what numbers are represented by various sets of blocks: two big blocks, three

flats, and 2 little blocks; one flat and 2 longs; and so on. They must also represent numbers with blocks; for

example, they show 404 with blocks. Two-dimensional drawings can later be used for the blocks, and these drawings

can be used on assignments for problems like the one in figure 3.

AlternativelY,' stu,den,ts can be asked t(),,~~o~ WitQ);lI,9s's,~,!h.e 1~r,9'~,rL"~Jt",Q",,,.9,f!,,1J9)U~,l',W, P,i,~Ro,fth",e ""um,,b,e,rs 204 and
258 isd~;,;~,!~Jr*'
end so on~.'tr'.if~ tr'l't'd';rtr_~~'tHi'tf6fi~ OfblOCk'"{
_d~(~:nutnbers when the small cube represents 1: .'
* Can you represent 46 321 with the blocks you have? Why or why not?
* Can you represent 8 V2 with the blocks you have? ~~~,""~~,,
The next lessons should focus on changing the unit. _~~_(tudents

can then be asked to represent 76. (They would do so With seven flats and SIX longs.) Aff~'m'any'ilu~stions,

they can again be asked, "Can you represent 8 V2 with the blocks you have? Why or why not?" (Yes, with eight longs

and five small cubes.) It is then worthwhile to ask a few questions--remaining in the whole-number system--where

the flat represents one unit.

It is then natural to begin decimal instructton.. , , ' " < . "~'~.~~"_I'.'l!"~/"";l

It is obvlouslv less than 1. What part of 1 is it? Since ten longs are in a flat, one long represents O.L Several " 1
questions should follow:
* How would you represent 0.3? 4.3? (See fig. 4.)
* How many tenths are in four wholes?
* What do you have to add to 0.9 to have one whole?
* 4.5 is _ ones and _ tenths, or _ tenths.
* Which of the followlnq are equivalent to one flat and four longs: 14? 1.4? 140? 14 longs? 41 longs? 41?

ukewise, children can come to understand that a small block in this context represents one hundredth, and many

questions similar to the previous questions can be asked. Teachers can also present such problems as the following:

In 6.40 are _ _ tens and _ _ ones and _ _ tenths and _ _ hundredths, In 6.4 are _ _ tens and

ones and _ _ tenths and _ _ hundredths. In 6.04 are _ _ tens and ones and _ _ tenths and

_ _ hundredths. Are any of these numbers the same? Why?

A great deal of practice is needed in each of the lessons described here; the questions indicated areonly a small

=.,. {\sk stUd~~t~'tocl~~C'~ib~h~;i;~>c~u'id(:'3!~~~!!'!m~~~e

hundred-thousandth. When students feel very secure with the blocks, with changing units, and with problems

involVing decimals, it is time to SWitch to another representation. A day or two spent with money--dollars and cents-­

will work well. Finally, a lesson or two should focus directly on decimal numbers without using another representation

(although many children will naturally answer in terms of "blocks" or "wood"). Questions like the followlnq can be


* Is 0.1 closer to 0 or to 1?
* Is 1.72 closer to 1 or to 2?
* I am a number. I am bigger than 0.5 and smaller than 0.6. Who am I? html;hwwilsonid=S4... 4/19/2008

Full text Page 40f5

* Are there decimals between 0.3 and 0.4? How many do you think there are?
* Are there decimals between 0.35 and 0.36? How many?
* Are there decimal numbers between 0.357 and 0.358? How many?
Draw baskets and label them "Numbers smaller than 0.5," "Numbers bigger than 0.5 but smaller than 1,"
"Numbers between 1 and 3," and "Numbers bigger than 3." Then give the students the following numbers and ask
them to place each number in the appropriate basket: 0, 0.03, 1.01,5.08,2.63,0.49,0.93,0.60, 1.19, and so on.
This type of problem can be made more difficult with baskets labeled "Numbers between 0.4 and 0.5," "Numbers
between 0.7 and 0.8," and "All other numbers."
If desired, these lessons could be interrupted before decimal numbers are introduced, and addition and
subtraction of whole numbers could be introduced using the blocks. But when addition and subtraction of decimal
~-,- .,---.--.......


numbers are introduced,

_,_.____ uch students also develop a good feeling for th'e~sries of
edina I numbers and can compare them with one another. It did not occur to any of the students who received this
instruction to round 0.52 to 0 or to 1 when estimating a product--0.52 was simply seen as "about a half."
When students understand what they are doing, they tend to enjoy doing mathematics. It is worth the time
needed to build strong foundations. The time will be easily made up in future lessons, and students are much more
likely to be successful.


1. For each of the following pairs of decimal numbers, ask students to tell which is smaller. Then analyze their
answers to see if any are making the rule-lor rule-2 errors identified in the Sacker-Grisvard and Leonard (1985)
Number Pair Use of Rule 1 Use of Rule 2 Correct 3.17 or 3.4 3.4 3.17 3.17 14.285 or 14.19 14.19 14.285 14.19
6.43 or 6.7216.436.7216.4311.01 or 11.002 11.01 11.002 11.0029.642 or 9.999.999.6429.642 15.134 or
15.12 15.12 15.134 15.12 156.1 or 156.012 156.1 156.012 156.012
If you find evidence of systematic rule-lor rule-2 errors, use some of the instructional ideas in this article and
then reassess your students to determine whether their understanding of place value has improved. In addition to
rule-lor rule-2 errors, look for other systematic errors that students make. What are the misconceptions that
underlie these errors?
2. Assess your students' understanding of place value by asking such questions as the following.
(a) The Sweet Candy Company places 10 pecan clusters in each box they sell. The cook just made 262 pecan
clusters. How many boxes can be filled with the fresh pecan clusters?
(b) There is $2148 in the bank, ready to be used for prizes for the state science fair. If each prize is $100, how
many prizes can be given?
Students with good place-value understanding will not need to do any division. Some students may solve (a) and
(b) by using division. Some may not solve them at all. In either case try numbers like 260 or $2100 to see if easier
numbers allow them to use their more limited place-value knowledge. If you find some students making large
numbers of errors, use some of the instructional ideas in this article. Then reassess them using similar questions to
determine whether their knowledge of place value has improved.
Added material
Judith Sowder is professor of mathematical sciences at San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182. She is
the editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, published by NCTM. She has had a long-standing
interest in number sense and has published several research articles and book chapters on this topic.
Edited by Donald Chambers, National Institute for Science Education, Wisconsin Center for Education Research,
University of Wisconsin--Madison, Madison, WI 53706. Readers are encouraged to send manuscripts appropriate for
this section to the editor.
FIGURE 1 Ones as the focal point of the decimal system

FIGURE 2 Alternative number names and representations when a long represents one unit

FIGURE 3 Substituting a two-dimensional drawing for blocks

FIGURE 4 Representing numbers with base-ten blocks

Hiebert, James. "Mathematical, Cognitive, and Instructional Analyses of Decimal Fractions." In Analysis of

http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.comlhww/results/results_single_fulltext.jhtml;hwwilsonid=S4... 4/19/2008
Full text Page 50f5

Arithmetic for Mathematics Teaching, edited by Gaea Leinhardt, Ralph Putnam, and Rosemary A. Hattrup, 283-322.
Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 1992.
Markovits, Zvia, and Judith T. Sowder. "Developing Number Sense: An Intervention Study in Grade 7." Journal for
Research in Mathematics Education 25 (January 1994): 4-29.
Sackur-Grisvard, Catherine, and Fran cots Leonard. "Intermediate Cognitive Organizations in the Process of

Learning a Mathematical Concept: The Order of Positive Decimal Numbers." Cognition and Instruction 2 (1985): 157­
Sowder, Judith T. "Instructing for Rational Number Sense." In Providing a Foundation for Teaching Mathematics in
the Middle Grades, edited by Judith T. Sowder and Bonnie P. Schappelle, 15-29. Albany, N. Y.: SUNY Press, 1995.
Threadgill-Sowder, J. "Computational Estimation Procedures of School Children." Journal of Educational Research
77 (July-August 1984): 332-36.

WBN: 9709100445006 _fulltext.jhtml;hwwilsonid=S4... 4/19/2008

INTEGRATING the curriculum

second-grade teacher at our school had

A in
asked for my help preparing his students
for the standardized math test they would soon
be taking. There m:e.fractipDs OD tbe,le§t and he

"~ _fJ,(Our previous

math/art lesson on symmetry' had produced
excellent results on last year's test (see "Sym­
metrical Aliens," Arts & ActivitiesOct. 2004).
This would be another great opportunity to cre­
ate a new lesson, combining two of my favorite
subjects: art and math.
The title of our new lesson opened eyes
and produced comments from "Oh good, I
love math," to "Oh no, not fractions!"
There was mostly intrigue at the thought
of bringing math into the art room and
curiosity at how we would go about paint­
ing a fraction.
To proceed with our lesson, we needed
to review our color wheel in order to iden­
tify warm, cool and neutral colors. From
an "Elements and Principles of Design"
poster we learned that rhythm is the rep­ ._------...,
etition of colors. as well as shapes,
lines, values, forms,
spaces and

f _-._


.J~_ I

'1 , I
." ' - . . '-
... _.~- .
.. --
Caitlin Mu~n

r[ " C) "l c.
L?-~J[I[J1J~~DUlJ~J \!/~10~fr~tH~{it!@ G~!
~ !["~-'" "~-"-'--", _~u··_FL'-i ~-; -: -.-. '. -'l/~---'
by Ellen McNally ._.-._. -' r! : " .I .> - - - - ,

L::r~J~Q=,I iFL\ Cil. L!L~

,----'" "I 1""1 \
! <---. I! '"

i 1 J
20 arts & activities I april 2005
< Luke Evans
textures. It is what we can use to make our paintings
active and exciting.
We looked at reproductions of paintings that were divid­
ed into grids and observed how the artists used repetitions
of shapes and colors to create beautiful art. (Spectral
Sq %Wres, by Richard Anuszkiewicz, Spectrum Colors
Arranged by Chance by Ellsworth Kelly, and Flora on the
Sand by Paul Klee.)
We began by folding a 12" x IS" sheet of SO-lb. drawing
aoer in half both vertically and ho~zonta1ly-""
~; I placer~~,
crayons at the tables. Workin t02:eth~r, we used a red cray­
on to divide th

_:;e~~:1I"lIll!l}IIII~II!.~IiI!I"~1Il!~2~f~: --'-co' ... *

_ _._,.~~JThbekstufdthen~ t en ~w~re
.-----" .._._. . the1r name on me ac 0 err papers. e
........... - -'i were finally ready to paint our fractions!
I Watercolor sets containing 16 half-pans
f' <fit,
1I I of warm, cool and neutral colors were dis­
i tributed. The white was made into gray by
<;=.:;.::.:<.-': ..:.~""";':':' i adding some black. We treated white (the
'~J:~ ,~ .. t

i absence of color) and black (all colors
I together) as neutral colors, along with the
i gray and brown. To obtain white, a rectangle
i could be left unpainted. ',' '" .
i. .M
Before . we started, .-. .' . .
t~~l~~ ~~~~d~: ~~~~ .

if asked to paint 3Al of the blue rectangles a

warm color? This was the format of the math
test. We used the same format to reinforce
the learning experience and connect the
mathematical and artistic processes. I direct­
ed the activity.
We worked on the entire

KriUinQ Higgins ~!rthen

let the students choose what colors to paint the


Students will ...

remaining rectangles, which allowed all those who
needed it, time to catch up.
There was lots of interaction and sharing of knowledge
" divide a rectangle infoeight sections and be able to identify parts during the process: "Was that 3"s of the blue section?" "Is
of the rectangle as :!Al, % and so on. magenta a warm color? Yes ... no '" look at the color
.:' identify primary and secondary colors, warm, cool and neutral wheell" My students enjoyed both the process and the great
colors, as well as color value, hue and intensity.
range of beautiful colors from which they had to choose.
o be able to recognize repetitions of colors, lines, values and textures
that create potterns.

Because of the nature of watercolor paint, we made use of

r, be able to identify positive and negative shapes.

our "accidents" by creating colors with feathery blends and

tie-dyed swirls.

12" X 18" heavy white drawing or watercolor paper

'0 Watercolor sets containing 16 half-pans of warm, cool
"S"U'" .........'­
Part II of our lesson inVOJv=~'oUt 12Jl x :,
olding our paint­
mgs horizontally, we cut them in half. One half of our
painting was kept intact. The other half was cut into 16 col­
and neutral color>
orful rectangles, Then out came the paper punches in a
Q Yellow, blue, red and black crayons for each student

(, Watercolor brushes and cups of waler

variety of shapes: snowflakes, stars, moons and ovals,
c Scissorsand glue
extra large leaves, a musical note, a hand ... And, the
'.> 12" X 18" manila paper for folder
Fiskars" Paper Edgers": Victorian, Seagull. Scallop, Wave
" Variety of paper punches in variety of shapes and sizes
.... I put six or seven of these tools on each of six tables
, Variety of Fiskors Paper Edger> or similar type scissors
see FRACTIONS 011 page 42 21
FRACTIONS and the stu­ SUMMER 2005

Art & Cultural Education Materials, Inc.
continwtd/rompag.21 dents shared.
(The one rule I One & Two-Week Workshops

ADVENTURE TRAVEL asked the students to follow was to

only cut and punch shapes from the June 5 - August 13
2005 smaller rectangles, leaving the gil x j-~,~~,.:;/ :-..~ ." - ...... ........

Native American Art 12 11 paper whole.) . C~·' _-=:

& Culture We referred back to our Elements

of Design Poster on Rhythm and ~~f:~~~~--~~.- B:~'~:;'> ~ .~
Tucson, Arizona

June 23-30 found the following quote. "Move­
ment and rhythm work together to
create the visual equivalent of a
~ X;,-: .:'. ': . F.usea:Glas~:-
»: c' "
. p't.;. .~~;r:~.-
.. /.~~~~~ t~.1;".-:· ''''~~'''''
' ... I;;:;O::- iI;y.... I';" -,' _ --"".::
. .;­ . . :.­ ~~:.~

passport to Discovery -'-"l~cc.. .. ~.. ...~.;-- .

musical beat." There were 16 little . Pap~r_-&~0i2ArtS .;'

Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca
rectangles from which to create Drawmtr&=eainting, ". '
July 7-16
designs. In addition to repetitions of Metal & Stone .Sculptufe';
Georgia O'Keeffe shapes and colors, we kept in mind Woodtu~i!1g~_.w-oodworking. I
-,: .' : . ..,', , :,.~~. ....:.. , • .' I

Leadership seminar the visual effects of contrasting col­ .c : NOW':;O~F.ERJNG:.MASTER

ors and, most importantly, positive "/";,- ,( " 'CLASSES' .
same Fe, New MexIco .~ , I~ \ '. I ~jl'
• " I. ~ .

and negative spaces. After a yellow I .I'l' , I

July 21-26 . '" Sdlplarships. i

paper was used to produce many lit­ I Studio~istant. WorkStqdy·

Ciao rtalta tle positive shape stars, the negative Appijeatio'~ deadline ~.April15 .

Florence, Italy star spaces became positive again .. .. \ ~ I '. I '; .. ' ,.'

July 2-30 when the paper was glued onto an Porcomplete course qfferings1.
... ... ... ... ... ... orange rectangle. vi~it -...vWw.arrowmOnt;org
. or caU for a ~talpg. .\
Days of the Dead We overlapped lines to create plaids
and created little landscapes. Some of
Oaxaca, Mexico
October 27-Nov. 2 our rectangles had radial symmetry, r'&OW.MONT\\\
while others achieved asymmetrical 4~aaj"_;'J'M .
balance. At one table, a group of drag­ ~5S6',Pijf~y -1\.~t1jJlf}u.-gXrif:~8 \ .
PO BOX 65928 TUCSON, AZ 85728
ons appeared! Because our lessons last
just 45 minutes, we made folders from 865-436-5860
larde No.212 l>'\ ARTS & ACTlvmES ReaderServItoe;.,rdl 1211 x 1811 sheets of manila paper. At the
end of one session, our collages were [Clrcle No. 204 on ARTS & ACJMT1ES Rood... Se..lee Card)

tIAWD>,.~. ~~r:::
placed on the drying rack and our
remaining colors of paper were stored c.~\CAGO CAN\!4
.: Aflr~J & Inks in our folders.
My students were very happy with Canvas • Muslin • Theatre Fabric
• Curtain Track • Dyes/Paints

FJ'.t.~".t~.t~;.l:;.:".\~" ,~", !W",'~., .,' I7C~."~.I·

the results. Our collages were dis­

--------- FreeCalalog ---------­
played at our school's annual art Ph: (773( 478-~700 • Fax: (773) 588-3139
show and received many compli­
. ,-c'..·..· I•. .-.""'. .]"'' -i
. (Ord. No. 2011 "" ARTS & AcnVJllES Roode, SeMceCord)

;<.~ _~:i~ I ~:~~~i:~~U

ments. A beautiful part of these col­
lages is the quality of the colors,
,..'~.",.,,:--, .~:': :: -1:' unique paper which were painted by the students
I ....:.... " .' - products. as they were learning about fractions. .r>

Math is very often an integral part of

6 liquid co!OI1>, Brightener, Sparkle, Fonnation
Aid, Wooden Deckle.Screens & Support Grid, artistic creation. It is gratifying when , I PiMGOaXl I
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art can be used to teach and reinforce
mathematical concepts and help our
phono {BOO17.u.3255 1OI0D: wpiOwol.hproducb,com
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Ellen McNally teaches K-5 art at the PAPERMAKING SUPPl.IES
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For catalog ""nel 5.A.S.E. or IN. our W.P,,~:


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Block Ink of "Rhythm" (available From 10reio No. 221 on ARTS & ACTIVITIES Roode, SetYk. Cordi

@ IGENERAL'S® Itff\\
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= Website: • Flora on theSand, by Poul Klee <:
- I lard. No.2 1 9 on A~TS & AClMl1fSReaderServlce c.:"dl
10rdo No. 235 "" ARTS & AcnVll1fS ReaderSorvico e;.,rdl
42 e r t s & activities I april 2005
Michael i'~aylor on

~.. ~..

Math ...

.' " .

Building Decimal Success.

. The sixth installment of our series on fractions takes '8 slightly

. different point of view - a decimal point, to be exact
~ecimal-Fractioi1 Match
Grades 3-5
Keepconnecting decimalideas to fraction
ideas and your students will learn that,
there's nothing.mysterious about either.
Here are several trusted activities that will
help kids build decimal success. rovide a list of deci­
mafs~~ctions which are close 0

Comparing Fractions to t~ those decimals, Ask ;your sn;dents to

Tentha(Gradea 2-5) . .. 'In the
• •~cJass cu"~~~;slOn, nave ~aems expiam
Using a fraction circle, theirreasons for. the matches they made.
squaresor othermanipulatives, have your Here's a sample list:
students set up 10 tenths to make a unit.
Then have them build various fractions 0.732 115­
and compare them to the tenths. Students 0.490 1/2
should feel free to estimate fractions 0.67 3/4
which-don't match exactly, "One half is 0.201 2/3
the same as five-tenths." "Three-quarters 1.252 7/8

is betweenseven-tenths and eight-tenths." 0.811 119

:~u:;r .._ ~ 0.12 3/4 + 1/2

~~ . e:UI"i With Spot (Grades 3-5)

Have your students cut out a circle the
size ofa half-dollar and draw a smiley
face on it. The face should be looking up
and to the left. This guy's name is "Spot,"
and he looks at the pieceswhich are units,
or ones.

Manipulatives can help students build

fraction sense, encouraging them to make
estimations such as, "One-third is slightly i
morethan three-tenths." I
Michael Naylor is a professor of math education at )
WesternWashington University, Bellingham, WA and
-a Teaching Editor of Teaching K-8. E-mail: mnay Spot keeps his eye on base ten pieces. \



Have-yourstudentsset upa whole num- ~ul:tiplying With CWecimals
berWithbaselOpieces- say, 156- and (~racles 5-8)
Place the Point (~rades 3~t

Give your studentsdecimal number sen­

, ask them to place Spotso he's looking ~tWhen'multiplying two decimalnumbers, tenceswherethe decn:nal has been leftout

the ones. , suchas30.7x4.35,weusuallyignorethe . of the use.number

Now move Spotso he's lookingat the decimal places atfirst and compute307x . sensetodetermine where the point goes.
'1 five long pieces. They were five tens, but 435 = :133545. Students learn a rulefor Here~ a few examples:

II now Spot.says they're five .oneY. What where to place the decimal point- count . .

/., number do the pieces represent now? . the total number of places to the right of 14.5.08 + 3.799 7.] 8307

1,1 the decimal point ]'01.35 - 35,]01 ;= 66249

and be sure the 60.15 x 1.55=932325'.

,\ [] 0 product has the 84.7-:-1.75= 484

I} 'D 0 same number of

'1:1 decimal 'places. " Oecimal .~umber Line
\ " ,~
instead of teach­ (GJrades 3-8)
ing the rule, have One problem children have with deci- .

." kidsestimate what mals is tbinking5.l2 is .greater than 5.8,
.' . " . , . ' • 'f
the answer Will be since J2 is .greater than S.,You can help
. ,

..i Now that Spot's looking at the tens, they become ones. This . ' • I I

,. means tfJe single blocks-that.had been ones ,havebecore tenths. and'place the dec­ students see values of decimalswith a
imalpoint accord­ number line. Draw a number line and
The smallestpiecesare one-tenth the size .ingly. Students may reason this way: 30 label a few points for reference: Write
.of the ones, so they'are tenths, and-the- - x 4=,120; so 30.7:x4.35should be.alit­ decimal numbers, on sticky-notes and
large square is the -tens. The .nnmber 'is, . tie more.They'll have no.trouble placing, have studentsstickthem on the line. This
, ,
read as 15 aridsixtenths and written15.6., ,the decimalpoint: 133:545. Furthermore, . activity can be donein spare moments­
Students Can model other decimal num- theylll be ~timating and doing mental just be sure you have time for a discus­ I
bers.writingthem in base 10 notation.•. ' matlt·.


.' ".+ I

, . .
-Take hundreds,ofASCD resources, plus a variety ,Ca,lI: 800"933-ASCD (2723)
of professional developrnentopportunltles, add
award-winning publications like Educational Leadership,
then press 2.
then figurein fullaccessto an extensive online library with
member discounts on cutting-edge productsand services, , Visit us at:
and YOU'll see whY ASCD mernbershlp.can add Up to increased E-mail us at:
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,Join Todi'f!
800·933·ASCD (2723) • ..-:D~' 1703 North Beauregard Stfeel
Alexandria, VA U31N7UI

. MichaelNaylor on

Teaching Math

"Saxon bas enhanced our

Time Out for Time

reaJi1"K and math programs, Tick-tack activities foreven the youngest children.
and our scores reflect tbe
$IICCe$S! we certainly have
improved 011 ITBS, bllt we

i also have other data to

You can also use a pendulum to time
mirror the achievement.
how long it takesthe class to clean up
,Snxonprovides an easy-to­ from an activity or get readyto
use mttllwl complete with go to recess.
!ess(m plans a7ldsttuJent Using .a pendulum
sheets ill an orgallked, also presents ~ oppor­
tt!acher-friendly manner. ..• tunityfor a science con­
Hats offto a wonderfUl nection: the amount of
~'" program that helps align Here are activ­ time it takes for a pen­
our clirriculmN to . ,'~ l itiesthat makegooduse dulum to swingbackand
assessments 4"d our state:' 1.-1 of classtime whileensur­ forth depends only on the
and local QCC. v :' ing a good time for all! length of the .string - not ~e
~-I ::~ weight of the object
Hanna Fowler, PrinciP~ ) Understanding Try t~ching your st~dents ho.w to hanging from it or
J. A Maxwell Thomson,
Scho? , j'.,'. read time by removing the mmute
Time hand from a clock and asking them how far you pull the
(Grades ~·S) : to approximate the time. The above
clock shows that it is "between 2 0:"
pendulum to the side
before releasing it. If
clock and 3 o'clock."
you make all the pen­
~ dulums the same length, they'll swing at
~ ~ _ _--11 79'k the same rate. The longerthe string, the
.! longerthe periodof the swing.
I What's a Minute? (Grades C~·~)
I ,."lWfiiI',....".. .. -- ..',.I"a' our stu-
Keeping your eye on a clockwhich dis­
plays seconds, have the class clap with
-1o_'1atIoiBalcSU•• dents should first record an estimate of you once each second Havethem count
'~Pn>-S.,.OD 0 Past-Suon thenumber of swingsthependuium will with you from 1 to 60,and explain that
make while they complete a task.'" 60 seconds make one minute. Do activi­

~~ ties suchas thesefor exactly one minute:

,JMi:C K' IN(Jo;rfIf • have the students closetheir eyesand sit
quietly; have them stand on one foot;
For information on how read them a story; have them write
to achieve results, call ; Michael Naylor is a professor of math education at counting numbers. Have students rest
(800) 284-7019. WesternWashington University, Bellingham. WAand their heads on their desks 'and raise their
a Teaching Editor of Teaching K-8. E-mail: ronay Continued on page 24


APRIL 2002 •
.., " . .
. laC(em~af~li
CQD.tio.U,id' 'rac;fit;e.. i R~vlew- CUmu.(atlv~ AM'-S.,.me~t

Teachers and students agree­

Saxon phonics programs SAXON
For more information or free samples,
. call (600) 284·7019. .
produce results. PUBLISHERS
Time out for time.;.
continuedfrom page 22

rove Strategic Thinking

hands when the


. .,._.._iill
and Test-Taking Skills .
Reading 'rime (Grades 1-3)
Childrencan learn to read a digitalclock

easily- it's simplya matter ofbeingable

to read two-digit numbers, Learning to
read an analog clock is another matter.
_ _U1l1.R.emovethe
minute hand and periodically ask stu­
dents to approximate the time. Is it al­
most 11 o'clock?Is it halfwaybetween2
o'clock and 3 o'clock?


'If Encourage thinking about quarters

and twel:fths ofan hour- you'll be teach­
ing fraction conceptsat the same time! '.

'We know "it's .important to you to help your students practice more
thanjust test-taking skills, You want your students to develop skills
thatcanmake them successful throughout theiracademic careers
AN.D beyond. The multilevel books in the Mathematical Thinking
series give you thetools to help students develop creative thinking "~';.)'.,;::,

skills-so they not only gettherightanswer, they understand tr
; (lo";,'''''lr~('?;'''' ~<:."":~'""~":~,~"""7""" --."" ~~>~';"~.N·
It's easy for students to figure out
how they got it.
how many seconds are in a given period
.of time. It's more difficult for them to
Six levels of math problems help you tailor
convertin the other direction - for exam­
yoW: instruction to yo~ students' abilities:
ple, how many days are in a millionsec­
CTP2613 Level A (Gr.1-2) CTP2616 Level D (Gr.3-4)
ISBN 1-57471-784-7 ISBN 1-57471-787-1 onds? To convert from a million sec­
CTP2614 Level B (Gr.1-2) CTP2617 Level E (Gr.5-6) onds, divide onemillionby 60 to find
ISBN 1-57471-'"785-5 ISBN 1-57471-788-)(
CTP2615 Level C (Gr.3-4) Crp 2618 Level F (Gr.5-6) minutes, then by 60 again 10find hours
-. ISBN 1-57471-786-3 ISBN 1-57471-789-8 and so on. Have students compare one
million seconds (about 10.5 days), on~
billion seconds (almost 32 years) and
Tolocate the educational supply storenearest you, call 800-287-8879, or
look one up on theWeb at one trillion seconds (32,000 years!). +

It's about Time

he "Math by the Month" activi­

ties are designed to appeal

directly to students. Students may

work on the activities individually or in small

groups. No solutions

are suggested so that

students will look to

themselves as the

mathematical author­

ity, thereby develop­

• .uwer.
ing the confidence to validate their work. This

month's activities focus on investigating and

exploring questions related to time, calen­

dars, and the New Year.



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Appendix C: Progress-monitoring Charts


\.l __ Reading
S c h 0 0 l--",..,; r: ____
•.l'""::,t.,,,,!':::~ ":'2>.cJ". Gr a d e _~ Room ----­
City Reading Level ___ City Math Level: ___ _Writing


I 40I
- e- '---
- t-

t'fIe-d \an =LJ



I -~
I - ~--
10I -'_+___.1 T
j. I 1
-~rtT ~- ~. --!- F-

I I 1-'
B1 B2 B3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Data Table: Record CBM data in the table below prior to charting.
Week # Date CBMData Week # Date CBMData Week# Date CBMData
Jllf\ -r
Ol f;; "s:IO l I I I I
lB.2Jd, I,~ Iff] r: 'GJ J ,( I I / I
~5 ~ ,~C/O ~ )I(f I I I I
I I I I I /
I / I I I I
I I I I I /
I I I I / I

CBM Workshop Manual Jim Wright Appendix C-2


Appendix C: Progress-monitoring Charts

1 50 / 10

__ Reading
School ~ ' _
__Qy:c:;..l.1.-1I:.. ~
Grade_~____ Roorn _____ ~Mathematics
City Reading Level ___ City Math Level: ____ _ Writing






Bl B2 B3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Data Table: Record CBM data in the table below prior to charting.
Week # Date CBMData Week # Date CBM Data Week# Date CBM Data
[jill I a ,Q~/n~ ~ J IS I I I I
lB.zJ~ 3 11.0 ID8 (P II S I I I I
~s 3 kilOlo' \ 1//5 I I I I
I I I / I I

CBM Workshop Manual Jim Wright Appendix C-2

Probe 1

This probe was administered on February 28, 2008. This probe was administered in the

workroom with the door closed. After the student sat down at the table he began to work on the

fractions and decimals probe first. He asked multiple questions and was frustrated that I could

not answer them. He continued to work and methodically went through the test. He started at the

first question and went in order until the end. When he did not know the answer he started to

circle things and write down random answers. Many of his answers were inconsistent and

showed little strategy. When he was done with the fractions and decimal test he gave it to me

and I handed him the time test. He sighed and put his head on the desk. After a moment of sitting

there he picked his head up and began to take the time test. Throughout this test he asked fewer

questions since he knew there was little chance of me answering them. He finished quickly and

wanted to leave the room.

In the middle of his test a teacher's aide came into the workroom and began singing. She

stated that she eats her lunch in here every day at this time and that there is nowhere else she

could eat. She saw that he was testing but made little effort to be quiet. She made her lunch in the

microwave, photocopied, sang a little song and tried to have a conversation with me while my

student was taking his test. It was very distracting to him, but in the middle of the probes I did

not want to get up and make him move to a new location. I mentioned to her that he was taking a

test but it did not seem to change her behavior. I do not know if this occurrence changed his test

scores or if it just made the testing longer.

Fractions and Decimals Probe 1

Facts: Yes
Automatic and

Operations: No
Error patterns • Place value error
• Random assignment of fractions
• No knowledge of mixed numbers

Problem Solving: Not Applicable

strategies used in
word problems

Concepts: No
The underlying
concept of the

Strategies: No
What strategies • Student circles the largest number despite place value
does the student • Student randomly assigns answers to fractions
bring to the • Student rewrites the problem
t-~br~v (w"~l I)'~ / .) () DSj 'l51/;J
Fractions and Decimals

1) 98.017 C]8,oJi
~ t..J '
+ 26.346 dr-, iJ).
i ';'"!.
,,~I I It''
*'\ 'T ..... _.,,__._.....,._
.... _
lLLt \
3> lP)
'q IV? \'0
2) 106.904
-" ,1<­ l ',. 71; 1~
/.. . )Ql
, 0";<.\ i~->(

87.812 !
\, -,

\ C\ -.. .()--Cjl

3) Write the decimal for 28/100

)(j \ • \ Of~

4) Write the fraction for 0.32

-2. :' .

.. / L_


5) Order this group of decimals from greatest to least

\ " ;Z :2 3
0.368 0.67 0.074 . (p 7 ·3(p~ .074

6) Order this group of decimals from least to greatest

~ I t
0.062 0.5 0.76 d­ )
.Ol.Q.;( ·5 ·70

If() 0
7) Order this group of fractions from greatest to least

1/4 1;2 1/1 tl I l J J. \ I~

~) Order this group of fractions from least to greatest II
\ 1/3 1/2 1/5 I Is I I3 d..
.~~ \ 3 1­
-l +1 -I
, Write this improper fraction as a whole or mixed number

_l e t 6/5 I I I<
~ Write this mixed number as an improper fraction

1 1/5
-\ \ '5

f'OIj C ;): r~): O((e et:J

to-tcu fXJSS; D(L p- 02 : ~

Time Probe 1

Facts: Yes
Automatic and • Reading clock

Operations: No
Error patterns • Time lapse

Problem Solving: No
Incorrect! • Inconsistent strategy
inconsistent • Reading difficulty
strategies used in
word problems

Concepts: No
The underlying • Time lapse
concept of the • Does not understand 60 minutes is the same as 1 hour

Strategies: No
What strategies • Random answers
does the student • Finger counting
bring to the • Leaving answers blank
~tb·('l-'C~'(~ J ~ (~80:{ I


?:~ l~ ()2
1) What time does this clock say?

2) What time does this clock say?

,5 'I \ Cj

3) In 15 minutes what time will it be?

4) What time was it 20 minutes ago?

..... \


5) Leslie got on her bike at 2:30 pm. When she got home it was 3:45 pm. How
long did Leslie ride her bike? II .---~ I, C-,

L ~O\f~ \ CA"~ ~
--'\ x I
~'\ \~ yI\~~~

t 1.)-
I nOlly 15 mi rv
6) Rachel went to a concert for 3 and }'z hours. She got home at 11:35 pm. What
time did the concert start?

\~\OO ~N\
°Il /\

7) How much time passes between 12:00 pm and 4:30 pm?

<~ \

("\ 0 L\[C~
8) How much time passes between 11:00 am and 2:45 pm?

[, " "'iI'" 'I ," '-""


9) Jacki has to be at school by 8 am. It is 6:45 am right now. How long does she
have to get to school?

2 V-') O'--".N?::7
o } d-'

10) Brooke is cleaning her room. It is now 2 pm and she needs to be done by 5:55
pm. How long does Brooke have to clean her room?

b L:f I VlO L-\ (7)

Probe 2

This probe was administered on March 6, 2008. Considering what happened the week

before in the workroom, I decided to change our location and go to a table in the library. This

worked out well, even though there was a class in the library. My student finished quicker, which

could have been result of fewer distractions around him. Also, this test was done after lunch,

rather than before. This made a difference because the student was not overly concerned with

time. He was not asking what time it was or when lunch was going to start.

This time the student asked for the time probe first instead of the fractions and decimals.

Throughout this test the student asked few questions. While watching him it seemed as of this

may have gotten easier for him to complete due to the speed which he was finishing the probe.

When grading the probe that statement did not stand true. In many of the questions he did not

answer completely or correctly. Often in this time probe he would only give answers in hours

without considering minutes at all. He rushed through it and did not take the time to really work

on the problems.

After completing the time probe he had asked to use the bathroom. I gave him a pass and

he did not come back for a few minutes. I went to go look for him and he was found talking to

other students in the hall way. He stated that he did not want to take another test, but reluctantly

came back to the library. During the fractions and decimals probe, the student worked quickly

and complained often. He wanted to go to the bathroom, the nurse and back to class. He

randomly assigned numbers, left answers blank and rewrote what was in the question. Due to the

behaviors during testing I do not know if this probe is a good representation of his knowledge in

fractions and decimals. He was extremely happy to be completed that day.

Fractions and Decimals Probe 2

Facts: Yes
Automatic and

Operations: No
Error patterns • Place value error
• Random assignment of fractions
• No knowledge of mixed numbers

Problem Solving: Not Applicable

strategies used in
word problems

Concepts: No
The underlying
concept of the

Strategies: No
What strategies • Student circles the largest number despite place value
does the student • Student randomly assigns answers to fractions
bring to the • Student leaves problem blank
\----- ..
fYX\( Cn lp J .r: o 7
Fractions and Decimals II

1) 84.198

+ 31.086
"*,\; I I \ ~.z- ~ ~

-/ ,\ \t
2) '~824

~ - 34.513
l( )
11q ~\ \

3) Write the decimal for 87/100

-t ~

4) Write the fraction for 0.68

5) Order this group of decimals from greatest to least ). 3.
::, \ L I
0.482 0.23 0.087 . ~~ J. , u87


6) Order this group of decimals from least to greatest

3 1 l­
0.081 0.5 0.69
\ )- 3
'00 ) .e . wCJ

~11 }O

7) Order t.hiS group of fr.1J...

" ns fromgreatest to least
{3\ ,{ 1- .:.. ~ .. \ \(J l 1'6
!\}j) (... ~/4 i\~ II]

8) Order this group of fr:0j"s from least to greatest

').: /7'
1 / 4 < 1/7
1/5 \ J7 1(5 t/~
:'<\ '-­
~ Write this improper fraction as a whole or mixed number

11/9 C\/ c\

~ Write this mixed number as an improper fraction

1 2/5


....... __
Time Probe 2

Facts: Yes
Automatic and • Reading clock


Operations: No
Error patterns • Time lapse

Problem Solving: No
Incorrect! • Inconsistent strategy
inconsistent • Reading difficulty
strategies used in • Incomplete answers
word problems

Concepts: No
The underlying • Time lapse
concept of the • Does not understand 60 minutes is the same as I hour

Strategies: No
What strategies • Random answers
does the student • Finger counting
bring to the • Answers in hours without minutes
Probe 3

This probe was administered on March 20,2008. This test set of probes was given during

morning class activities. The student had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon; therefore, he

was unable to take the probe later in the day. For this set of probes I took the student back to the

library. There seemed to be more success in there than there was in the workroom. For this last

set of probes the student chose to take the time probe first and then the fractions and decimals

probe second.

When taking the time probe he seemed to be more comfortable with the material. This

was also evident in the fact that this was his highest scoring time probe. In the library he started

to actually look at the clock on the board and the blank clocks on the probe to help him solve the

problem. The visual support really helped this student. Also, knowing I could not help him, the

student did not ask me any questions during this probe. This helped with his frustration level.

Since he was not asking any questions, he was not getting upset with the lack of answers. He had

come to terms with trying each question on his own. The student turned in the probe and asked

for the second one.

With the fractions and decimals probe there seemed to be a disconnection. Problems

which came with ease on the first two probes he did not know how to do. Eventually he worked

through them, but this probe did not have the success that the time probe did. By the end of this

probe the student still did not have any knowledge of mixed numbers or improper factions. He

randomly listed the order of fractions, and listed the order of decimals from greatest to least

despite their place value.

Fractions and Decimals Probe 3

Facts: Yes
Automatic and

Operations: No
Error patterns • Place value error
• Random assignment of fractions
• No knowledge of mixed numbers

Problem Solving: Not Applicable

strategies used in
word problems

Concepts: No
The underlying
concept of the

Strategies: No
What strategies • Student circles the largest number despite place value
does the student • Student randomly assigns answers to fractions
bring to the • Student guesses
tYltw"Ch ao, c::Joog
Fractions and Decimals III ~ Jf S
1) 58.184

Xl + 41.073
C\-1, 151

2) 242.749

\ - 31.236

\ }

1-1 LS\ .3

3) Write the decimal for 45/100

.~.... ~ .45
4) Write the fraction for 0.24

\ \ ~~~.~

5) Order this group of decimals from greatest to least

c) ~
0.689 0.14 0.092

~) "3 t: ~ I.e! ~ (I j '

"(i ~,.J
." (/ )

6) Order this group of decimals from least to greatest

.) ~ .>
0.078 0.4 0.64
I ~ Z .J ],'5 <'f 1(, !....

.\' \
, J-~)-
7) Order this group of fractions from greatest to least ,'j -s
1/10 1/3 1/1 Ij I 1/ -3 \JI ->

l' -) /1 S .}
.j -'

8) Order this group of fractions from least to greatest

1/2 1/9 1/5
ill) I ('j 1/ ,j

\.I )
.:t ~

9) Write this improper fraction as a whole or mixed number

I (){,\
I I~

10) Write this mixed number as an improper fraction

1 3/8
l' »
15 !f

Y :t~~

( )
Time Probe 3

Facts: Yes
Automatic and • Reading clock


Operations: No

Error patterns • Time lapse

Problem Solving: No
Incorrect! • Inconsistent strategy
inconsistent • Reading difficulty
strategies used in
word problems

Concepts: No

The underlying • Time lapse

concept of the


Strategies: No

What strategies • Finger counting

does the student • Looking at actual clock on wall

bring to the
ffiOych Jo, ~OO~
(j I,e'
Time III <,... _~~---.•

CD 'i ~~

1) What time does this clock say?

\L\ IV


2) What time does the clock say?

~ S\~~
\- \
3) In 45 minutes what time will it be?


4} What time was it 25 minutes ago?


5} Leslie got on her bike at 10:00 am. When she got home it was 12:45 pm. How
long did Leslie ride her bike?

~l hillA'S , (1~

.... ,}
v . \- .
-1: '..J(
1;~ Lljtll~'I.

6) Rachel went to a concert for 4 hours. She got home at 10:00 pm. What time did
the concert start?


7} How much time passes between 2:00 pm and 6:45 pm?

...v ,j ~ huuf7 ?\-y\cL Lt5111~h .

8} How much time passes between 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm?

.\.,j 3.
._ h 0 \"\' ,"'"
! ~

-( c~,

9) Jacki has to be at school by 9:30 am. It is 7:30 am right now. How long does she
have to get to school?

~- \ L \/"j E) lJ"-V'S ~J- £3 D VVl~/1,

10) Brooke is cleaning her room. It is now 1 pm and she needs to be done by 3:35
pm. How long does Brooke have to clean her room?

ZhOLAt rLj Or7cL 2 /­

J 7f1(/7~
\ ,)

' -.,-;
. ~)

CBA Reflection

The CBA process was a challenge for me. When giving the survey test I could already

see that this was going to be a struggle. Personally, it was very hard for me to watch one of my

students sit and be frustrated and not be able to help them at all. When my student would ask

questions and for four weeks get problems wrong, it was hard to sit there and not help him. He

did not mean to do poorly. When looking at all of the data together I feel that the things my

student did poorly on where mathematical skills that he was never taught. If someone were to

take the time to teach him these processes, he would do well.

The idea of mathematics not being taught well in the classroom is disheartening. I know

that this student is able to complete his work, but without instruction this student is blinded.

When looking at the math observation, I wonder how the students learn anything in this

environment. There is little instruction, no creativity, constant frustration and utter chaos. With

all of the distractions that are in the classroom there is little learning that goes on. At this point I

am unsure if the poor instruction is the fault of the teacher, the system, or a combination of both.

If there were simple changes made to the environment itself I think that the entire class would

benefit from the modification.

Modify and accommodate are the two words which would be most important for this

student. Ifthere were small changes made to the curriculum and the instruction this student

would find more success. Right now he is traveling down an academic path full of struggle and

frustration. If he is this disengaged in the fifth grade a change needs to be made. If this continues

the student will continue to have difficulty in his academic future and adulthood.
If I were to do this type of assessment again I would take more time to plan things out. I

feel that I did not explain what he was doing well enough, and I did not plan well enough. I

should have had a set location and a set time to administer my probes so that the testing

conditions were as consistent as possible. Also, I do not think I would have chosen the same

subjects to test. If I would have taken more time looking at the survey test and deciding where

the student had difficulty, I may have made a more informed decision. In terms of expectations, I

did not really have any coming into this. I was not sure what I was getting myself into when

administering and analyzing all of this information. I feel that CBA's are a challenge, but are