First graders' use of structure in visual memory and unitising area tasks

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Conference Proceeding
Mathematics Education Research:Innovation, Networking, Opportunity - Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Asutralasia MERGA 26, 2003, 2 pp. 539 - 546
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A cross-sectional descriptive study of 103 Grade I students from ten Sydney schools investigated the use of mathematical and spatial structure across 30 numeracy tasks. This report describes students' levels of structural development across two key tasks on visual memory and area as emergent, partial or identifiable structure. Lower-achieving students who lacked structure in their responses did not appear to be located on the same developmental path as other students. Qualitative analysis supported the findings of Gray, Pitta and Tall (2000) and Thomas, Mulligan and Goldin (2002) - that in the abstraction of mathematical concepts these students may concentrate on idiosyncratic non-mathematical aspects of their experience.
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