for the learning of mathematics

Alf Coles - Vol. 34 Num. 2 (2014)
 Transitional devices


Drawing on the work of Gattegno, it is suggested that a powerful way of teaching mathematics is to introduce symbols as relationships between visible or tangible resources. The symbols are abstract (formal) from the beginning and yet there are concrete resources to support their use. Drawing on data from a research project in primary schools in the UK, it is shown how the Gattegno 'Tens Chart' can be used to develop student awareness of multiplication and division. Students gain symbolic fluency, making transitions between a visual array and symbols for relationships within the array.


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