Problem Structure and First-Grade Children's Initial Solution Processes for Simple Addition and Subtraction Problems

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  • 1 University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 2 University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 3 University of Kentucky

Forty-three first-grade children who had received no formal instruction in addition and subtraction were individually administered 10 verbal problems. These problems were selected to represent the following semantic types: Joining, Separating, Part-Part-Whole, Comparison, and Equalizing. In spite of the lack of formal instruction, most children successfully solved the problems. In general, children's solution processes were consistent with a predictive model proposing that solution processes would directly represent the action or relationship described in individual problems.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

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