Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Question About 4 x 4 = ___ + 7

Second grade students have some difficulties with tasks such as 4 x 4 = ____ + 7. They are students in billingual school and use Spanish and English.

A teacher in Chile

It is expected that students who do not understand the meaning of the equal sign (=) to give 16 as the answer to 4 x 4 = ____ + 7. The teacher can ask students: "What is the value on the right hand side?" (16 + 7) which is 23 and "What is the value on the left hand side?" which is 16. They should realize that these are not equal.

You could read the number sentence this way: 4 x 4 is equal to 16 which is what plus 7.

The task requires a two-step process and students need some metacogntion to complete the task. Use drawing and concrete materials to help the students.