Arithmetic equality statements: numerical balance and notational substitution
conference contributionposted on 13.07.2011 by Ian Jones
Any type of content contributed to an academic conference, such as papers, presentations, lectures or proceedings.
Numerous studies have investigated the benefits of teaching young children that the equals sign means “is the same as” and presenting a variety of statement forms such as a+b=b+a and c=a+b. However, an important and overlooked aspect of equivalence relations is that of replacing one term with another, which implies a “can be substituted for” meaning of the equals sign. I report a trial with a pair of primary pupils working on a computer-based task that requires viewing equality statements in terms of both numerical balance and notational substitution. I present screenshots and transcript excerpts to illustrate how they articulated and coordinated balance and substitution in order to achieve the task goals.
- Mathematics Education Centre