Mental Strategies and Materials or Models for Addition and Subtraction up to 100 in Dutch Second Grades

  • Beishuizen M
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Dutch mathematics programs emphasize mental addition and subtraction in grades. For two-digit numbers up to 100, instruction focuses on "counting by any number" (N10), a strategy that is difficult to learn. Therefore, many children as an easier alternative "decomposition" in tens (1010) and units. Instead of arithmetic blocks (BL), the hundredsquare (HU) was introduced in the 1980s because a (supposed) better modeling function for teaching N10. In a field study with schools, (a) we compared the strategies N10 and 1010 on procedural effectiveness error types, and (b) we assessed the influence of the support conditions BL versus on the acquisition of mental strategies (we had also a control condition NO extra materials or models). Results confirmed the greater effectiveness of N10 the preference of many weaker children for 1010. Support for BL or HU had differential effects on mental strategies. Differences are discussed in terms of cognitive gy: the role of declarative knowledge and the relation between conceptual procedural knowledge. New Dutch proposals for the 1990s emphasize teaching strategies N10 and 1010 to enhance the flexibility of students

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