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Mathematics

OPM1501

© 2018 University of South Africa

University of South Africa

Muckleneuk, Pretoria

OPM1501/501/2019

70777586

InDesign

HSY_Style

CONTENTS

Page

INTRODUCTION v

Learning unit 1: WHAT IT MEANS TO DO MATHEMATICS 1

1.1 What is mathematics? People’s views 1

1.2 A classroom environment for doing mathematics 4

1.3 What does it mean to learn mathematics? 6

1.4 What does it mean to understand mathematics? 10

Learning unit 2: TEACHING THROUGH PROBLEM SOLVING 17

2.1 What is a problem? 17

2.2 What is problem solving? 17

2.3 Routine and nonroutine problems 19

2.4 Good problems have multiple entry points 22

2.5 A three-phase lesson format 23

Learning unit 3: NUMBERS AND OPERATIONS 30

3.1 Numbers, numerals and digits 30

3.2 The Hindu-Arabic numeration system 31

3.3 Understanding place value 32

3.4 Models to illustrate place value 33

3.5 Operations on whole numbers 36

3.6 Large numbers 49

3.7 Illustrating numbers on the number line 51

3.8 Rounding off 52

3.9 Prime numbers 52

3.10 Rules of divisibility 53

3.11 Multiples54

3.12 Factors55

Learning unit 4: FRACTIONS57

4.1 Basic fraction concepts 57

4.2 Fraction models 58

4.3 Fraction notation 59

4.4 Non-unit fractions 60

4.5 Number line presentations 61

4.6 Equivalent fractions 62

4.7 Comparing fractions 64

4.8 Addition of fractions 65

4.9 Subtraction of fractions 67

4.10 The meaning of “of ” 68

4.11 Multiplication of fractions 69

Learning unit 5: NUMERIC AND GEOMETRIC PATTERNS 75

5.1 What is a pattern? 75

5.2 Numeric patterns 76

5.3 Geometric patterns 82

5.4 Generating number patterns using flow diagrams 85

OPM1501/501/2019(iii)

Learning unit 6: SPACE AND SHAPE 89

6.1 Introduction to shapes 89

6.2 Van Hiele’s levels of geometric thought 90

6.3 Flat shapes 92

6.4 Polygons93

6.5 Triangles94

6.6 Quadrilaterals95

6.7 Space shapes 99

6.8 Practising how to draw 3D objects 103

6.9 Nets of polyhedra 104

6.10 Drawings from different views 105

Learning unit 7: TRANSFORMATION GEOMETRY 107

7.1 Introduction107

7.2 Transformation geometry 108

7.3 Translation109

7.4 Reflection 110

7.5 Rotation113

7.6 Combination of transformations 114

7.7 Summary and conclusion 116

Learning unit 8: MEASUREMENT119

8.1 Introduction to measurement concepts 119

8.2 The meaning and process of measurement 120

8.3 Measuring units 120

8.4 Piaget’s theory of readiness 124

8.5 The role of estimation 125

8.6 Measurable attributes 126

8.7 Measurement content 128

8.8 Conclusion/summary139

Learning unit 9: STATISTICS OR DATA HANDLING 141

9.1 Why do we need statistics? 141

9.2 Data collection methods 141

9.3 Organising and interpreting data 142

9.4 Measures of central tendency 150

Appendix 2: Fraction resources 160

(iv)

1 INTRODUCTION

This module is compulsory for all students who not be following the mathematics

stream of the BEd (Intermediate Phase).

If you were unsuccessful in mathematics in high school, you should not feel

overwhelmed by having to study this module. If you work through this tutorial

letter meticulously, you might find that concepts become clearer, and that you actually

start to enjoy doing mathematics!

In this module, we endeavour to move away from the traditional way of teaching

mathematics. We focus on understanding the basic concepts, which form the

foundation of the learning of mathematics.

There are many activities in this study guide, and we advise you to buy an exercise

book and make an effort to do all of them.

school level in the intermediate phase

The module consists of two sections. In the first section (units 1 and 2) the emphasis

is on the teaching of mathematics. The discussion is around what it means to do

mathematics, as well as teaching through problem solving. In this section, we hope

to open new doors for you to the ways we do mathematics with understanding. In

the second section (units 3 to 9) the emphasis is on the content and the various topics

that form the mathematics curriculum. The content is explained in such a way, that

while you are working through the content, you are also introduced to some ideas

of how to teach the content for understanding. In other words, we are building your

pedagogical content knowledge. This means you will not only know WHAT to teach,

but also HOW and WHY you teach in a particular way. As you progress through the

tutorial letter, you will gain more knowledge and confidence to teach. However, there

is no easy way to master the material. With hard work, commitment and a positive

disposition you will succeed. Believe in yourself, and “carpe diem” (seize the day)!

You will be expected to download a copy of the Intermediate Mathematics Curriculum,

or the CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy document) from the following

website:

www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/CurriculumAssessmentPolicyStatements(CA

PS)/CAPSIntermediate.aspx

Section 1 deals with the general aims of the curricula in the South African context.

OPM1501/1(v)

Section 2 contains the specific aims of the Intermediate Mathematics Curriculum

and the skills that learners should develop while studying mathematics

AIMS

The teaching and learning of Mathematics aim to develop

environmental, cultural and economic relations

•• confidence and competence to deal with any mathematical situation without being

hindered by a fear of mathematics

•• a spirit of curiosity and a love for mathematics

•• an appreciation for the beauty and elegance of mathematics

•• recognition that mathematics is a creative part of human activity

•• deep conceptual understanding in order to make sense of mathematics

•• acquisition of specific knowledge and skills necessary for

–– the application of mathematics to physical, social and mathematical problems

–– the study of related subject matter (e.g. other subjects)

–– further study in mathematics

SKILLS

To develop essential mathematical skills the learner should

•• develop number vocabulary, number concept and calculation and application skills

•• learn to listen, communicate, think, reason logically and apply the mathematical

knowledge gained

•• learn to investigate, analyse, represent and interpret information

•• learn to pose and solve problems

•• build an awareness of the important role that mathematics plays in real life

situations including the personal development of the learner

able to achieve.

On the next four pages, you will find a brief summary of the curriculum. It gives

you an idea of what has to be taught in the four school terms.

(vi)

Introduction

GRADE 4

OPM1501/1(vii)

GRADE 5

(viii)

Introduction

GRADE 6

OPM1501/1(ix)

GRADE 7

In the preliminaries of this document, the following is stated:

The National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 aims to produce learners who are

able to:

•• identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking;

•• work effectively as individuals and with others as members of a team;

•• organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively;

•• collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information;

•• communicate effectively using visual, symbolic and/or language skills in various

modes;

•• use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards

the environment and the health of others; and

•• demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising

that problem solving contexts do not exist in isolation. (DBE NCS 2011:5)

SPECIFIC AIMS

The teaching and learning of mathematics aim to develop (Department of Basic

Education 2011:8):

environmental, cultural and economic relations

•• confidence and competence to deal with any mathematical situation without being

hindered by a fear of mathematics

(x)

Introduction

•• an appreciation for the beauty and elegance of mathematics

•• recognition that mathematics is a creative part of human activity

•• deep conceptual understanding in order to make sense of mathematics

•• acquisition of specific knowledge and skills necessary for

–– the application of mathematics to physical, social and mathematical problems

–– the study of related subject matter (e.g. other subjects)

–– further study in mathematics

OPM1501/1(xi)

(xii)

LEARNING UNIT 1 LEARNING UNIT 1

1 WHAT IT MEANS TO DO MATHEMATICS

After working through this unit, you should be able to

•• explain what it means to “do mathematics”

•• explain what a classroom environment for doing mathematics should look like

•• explain how people learn mathematics

How would you describe what happens when you are doing mathematics? In the rest

of this unit, we will explore what it means to “do” mathematics. We hope that, after

you have worked through this unit, you will have realised that outdated ideas about

mathematics are not acceptable if you expect to be a quality teacher. Combining the

best of the old ideas with fresh ideas about teaching and learning will enable you to

become a better quality mathematics teacher.

Before you read any further, we need you to think about what mathematics means

to you.

ACTIVITY 1.1

Write a short paragraph on your experiences as a learner in a mathematics

class when you were at school. Write at least one good experience and one bad

experience.

Most people acknowledge that mathematics is an important subject at school.

However, few really understand what mathematics is about and what it means

to “do” mathematics. People often define mathematics as a collection of “rules”,

arithmetic computations, mysterious algebraic equations or geometric proofs that

need to be learnt in order to pass an examination. In general, people tend to feel

that they are “no good at mathematics and that it is difficult”.

•• Mathematics is based on the memorisation of facts, rules, formulas and procedures.

•• You have to have a special brain to be able to do mathematics.

•• Mathematics is not creative.

•• There is a best way to do a mathematics problem.

•• Every mathematics problem has only one correct answer and the goal is to find

the answer.

•• Mathematics problems are meant to be solved as quickly as possible.

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•• School mathematics is useless.

Much of this restricted (even negative) view of mathematics stems from

somewhatauthoritarian (which some people have called “traditional”) approaches

to the teaching of mathematics. In such “traditional” teaching, the teacher “tells”

learners about or explains a mathematical concept or idea to them. The teacher

“tells” the learners how to “use” a mathematical idea in a certain way in order to

arrive at the correct answer. Learners then practise the method and rely upon the

teacher to tell them the correct answers. This way of teaching produces a follow-the-

rules, computation-driven, answer-oriented view of mathematics. Learners exposed

to this way of teaching accept that every problem has one solution only and that they

cannot solve a problem without being told a “method of solution” beforehand. The

“rules” often do not make sense to learners and there is little excitement in lessons,

particularly if you cannot remember the rule!

The stereotypical traditional view emphasises procedures and the solving of routine

problems, with teachers showing and telling, while learners listen and repeat.

Each of these describes a situation in a mathematics classroom.

Picture 1

Picture 2

2

LEARNING UNIT 1: What it means to do mathematics

Picture 3 http://outstandingtogood.blogspot.com/2013/08/groups-v-pairs-v-individual-

work-pre.html

Picture 4

Picture 5

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Picture 6

ACTIVITY 1.2

Write a paragraph to describe what you think each of the pictures (photos)

represents. Do not rush through the activity. Write as much as you can about the

situation depicted in each picture.

As you work through the rest of this unit, you will be challenged to rethink and

reconstruct your own understanding of what it means to know and do mathematics

– so that learners with whom you work will have an exciting and more positive vision

of mathematics. Doing mathematics (mathematisation) will be eventful, compelling

and creative.

ACTIVITY 1.3

(1) Name the words that you can relate to teaching and learning in a traditional

mathematics classroom.

(2) Look at the verbs related to the “doing” of mathematics in a mathematics

classroom as mentioned in the text. Use each of them in a sentence to relate

them to the doing of mathematics.

(3) Describe the role of the teacher and the learners in a classroom where they

are doing mathematics.

It is the job of the teacher to ensure that every child learns to do mathematics, but

for this, the right environment is important.

engage in investigative processes and where they have the time and space to explore

particular cases (problems). They can then move slowly towards establishing, through

discovery and logical reasoning, the underlying regularity and order (in the form of

rules, principles, number patterns, etc.).

4

LEARNING UNIT 1: What it means to do mathematics

assigns appropriate tasks to them and promotes learner thinking and discussion

about these tasks. This atmosphere is one in which the rightness or wrongness of

answers is not the issue, but rather an environment that encourages learners to make

conjectures (guesses) about the regularity (sameness) they see. They then discuss

these conjectures with others without fear of being judged wrong or stupid, to listen

to the ideas expressed by others, and consequently, to modify their conjectures.

action verbs. They require reaching out, taking risks, testing ideas and expressing

these ideas to others. (In the traditional classroom, these verbs take the form of

listening, copying, memorising, drilling and repeating – passive activities with little

mental engagement, involving no risks and little initiative.)

of his or her perceived “cleverness”, and, where he or she can take risks without

fear of being criticised if he or she makes a mistake. It should be an environment in

which learners work in groups, in pairs or individually, but where they are always

sharing ideas and engaged in discussion.

ACTIVITY 1.4

A Grade 6 learner did the following calculation to find the product of 2 175 × 26:

(2) What is the meaning of each of the little numbers in the top row?

(3) Do you think what the learner did can be described as “doing mathematics”?

•• encourage enquiry, exploration and investigation of numbers?

•• stimulate the learning of regularity and order of numbers?

•• require the teacher to guide learners and ask thought-provoking questions?

•• involve learners in actively doing mathematics and discovering rules?

Perhaps you are wondering, after working through that rather complex example in

activity 1.5, what mathematics teachers are supposed to do about basic skills? For

example, you may be asking, if learners do not need to count accurately, know the

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fractions and decimals, and so on?

The fact is, that when we teach an algorithm in mathematics (like long multiplication)

and then give learners exercises to do in their books, they are not “doing” mathematics.

This does not mean that teachers should not give learners this kind of exercise, which

is simple drill-work, but that drill should never come before understanding.

Repetitive drill of bits and pieces is not “doing” mathematics and will never result in

understanding. Only when learners are capable of making sense of things by “doing”

mathematics in the classroom will they be truly empowered.

The constructivist view requires a shift from the traditional approach of direct

teaching to facilitation of learning by the teacher. Teaching by negotiation has to

replace teaching by imposition; learners have to be actively involved in “doing”

mathematics. This doing does not always have to be active and involve peer discussion,

although it often does. Learners will also engage in constructive learning on their

own, working quietly through set tasks, allowing their minds to sift through the

materials they are working with, and consolidating new ideas with existing ideas.

Constructivism rejects the notion that children are “blank slates” with no ideas,

concepts and mental structures. They do not absorb ideas as teachers present them,

but rather, they are creators of their own knowledge. The question you should be

asking now is, “How are ideas constructed by learners?”

How do we construct “meaning” from our thoughts?

The general principles of constructivism are based largely on the work of Piaget.

According to Piaget, when a person interacts with an experience/situation/idea, one

of two things may happen. Either the new experience is integrated into the person’s

existing schema (a process called assimilation) or the existing schema is adapted

to accommodate the new idea/experience (a process called accommodation or

adaptation).

experiences. Assimilation is based on learners’ ability to notice similarities between

objects and match new ideas to those they already possess.

•• Accommodation is the process of altering existing ways of seeing things or ideas

that do not fit into existing schemata. Accommodation is facilitated by reflective

thought and results in changing or modifying existing schemata.

6

LEARNING UNIT 1: What it means to do mathematics

ACTIVITY 1.5

The diagrams below give a visual representation of the ideas of Piaget.

(3) disequilibrium (4) reflective thought

The sociocultural theory of how we learn mathematics was influenced by the work

of Les Vygotsky. The zone of proximal development (ZPD) is a concept for which

Vygotsky is well known. It refers to the observation that children, when learning a

particular task or body of information, start out by not being able to do the task. Then

they can do it with the assistance of an adult or older child mentor, and finally they

can do it without assistance. The ZPD is the stage in which they can do it assisted,

but not alone. Thus, the teacher often has to guide a child or group of children as

they encounter different learning challenges.

While there may be wide variation of activities and content in a Vygotskian classroom,

the following four principles always apply:

(2) The ZPD can serve as a guide for curricular and lesson planning.

(3) Classroom activities should be reality based and applicable to the real world.

(4) Learning extends to the home and other out-of-school environments and

activities, and all learning situations should be related.

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Mathematics learning is likely to happen when we

•• use activities learners will regard as powerful and interesting

•• provide feedback to learners

•• use and develop correct mathematical language

•• challenge learners within a supportive framework

•• encourage learner collaboration, consensus and decision making

ACTIVITY 1.6

The following tasks are given (translated into a South African context):

decided to open all three boxes, to share the Smarties

fairly. There were 52 Smarties in each box. How many

Smarties did each child receive?

Now look at two attempts from Grade 4 learners to solve this problem:

(a) Explain in your own words how the two learners solved the problem.

(b) What is an algorithm?

(2) LPQ Toy Store is filling small boxes with three Smarties in each. If they have

24 Smarties, how many small boxes will they be able to make?

Both learners in the above activity display conceptual understanding. They did not

follow the formal division algorithm, but made up their own strategies.

ACTIVITY 1.7

Consider the following subtraction using the vertical algorithm, which a learner

did, and answer the questions:

8

LEARNING UNIT 1: What it means to do mathematics

(1) What calculation error did the learner make in the subtraction?

(2) What conceptual error did the learner make? (Think of place value.)

(3) Did the learner clearly understand the rule, “borrow from the next column”?

Explain your answer.

All that you have read so far shows that learning and thinking cannot be separated

from each other (especially in mathematics). In many classrooms, reflective thought

(or active thinking) is still often replaced by rote learning with the focus on the

acquisition of specific skills, facts and the memorisation of information, rules and

procedures, most of which are soon forgotten once the immediate need for its

retention has passed.

to think and they will think according to the knowledge they already have at their

disposal (in their cognitive schemata). The dead weight of facts learnt off by heart, by

memory, without thought to meaning (that is rote learning), robs the learner of the

potential excitement of relating ideas or concepts to one another and the possibility

of divergent and creative thinking (Grossmann, 1986).

Constructivism is a theory about how we learn. So, even rote learning is a construction.

However, the tools or ideas used for this construction in rote learning are minimal.

You may well ask: To what is knowledge, which is learnt by rote, connected?

manipulation of symbols that have little or no attached meaning.

This makes learning much more difficult because rules are much harder to remember

than integrated conceptual structures that are made up of a network of connected

ideas. In addition, careless errors are not picked up because the task has no meaning

for the learners and so they have not anticipated the kind of result that might emerge.

subject” consisting of a series of computational skills. The rote learning of skills

is all important, with rate and accuracy being the criteria for measuring learning.

This approach, labelled as the “drill theory”, was described by William Brawnell

(Trapton, 1986) as follows:

skills. The pupil acquires the facts by repeating them over and over again until

he is able to recall them immediately and correctly. He develops the skills by

going through the processes in question until he can perform the required

operations automatically and accurately. The teacher need give little time to

instructing the pupil in the meaning of what he is learning.

•• They are unable to apply what they have learnt to new situations, as they soon

forget what they have learnt.

•• Learning occurs in a vacuum; the link to the real world is rarely made.

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•• The facilitator pays little attention to the needs, interests and development of

learners.

•• Knowledge learnt by rote is hardly connected to learners’ existing ideas (i.e. the

child’s cognitive schemata) so that useful cognitive networks are not formed –

each newly formed idea is isolated.

•• Rote learning will almost never contribute to a useful network of ideas.

•• Rote learning can be thought of as a “weak construction”.

ACTIVITY 1.8

Read the section above about “rote learning”. Seven weaknesses are listed at the

end. Write your own interpretation of each of these weaknesses (do not simply

repeat what is said here).

Teaching strategies that you need to use for successful teaching of mathematics are

informed by constructivism, and sociocultural perspectives are informed by the

following ideologies:

•• Provide opportunities to talk/communicate about mathematics.

•• Create/build in opportunities for reflective thought.

•• Engage students in a productive struggle.

•• Encourage multiple approaches.

•• Treat errors as opportunities for learning.

•• Scaffold new content.

•• Honour diversity.

•• Create a classroom environment for doing mathematics

ACTIVITY 1.9

Discuss each of the strategies in a paragraph of about five points each.

We are now in a position to say what we mean by understanding. Grossmann (1986)

explains that to understand something means to assimilate it into an appropriate

schema (cognitive structure). Recall that assimilation refers to the use of an existing

schema (or a network of connected ideas) to give meaning to new experiences and

new ideas. It is important to note that the assimilation of information or ideas into

an inappropriate (faulty, confusing or incorrect) schema will make the assimilation

of later ideas more difficult and in some cases even impossible (depending on how

inappropriate the schema is).

Grossmann (1986) cites another obstacle to understanding, that is, the belief that one

already understands fully. Learners are often unaware that they have not understood

a concept until they have to put it into practice. How often has a teacher given a class

a number of similar problems to do (after demonstrating a particular number process

on the board), only to find a number of children who cannot solve the problems?

Those learners thought that they had understood, but they did not. The situation

becomes just as problematic when there is an absence of a schema – that is, no schema

10

LEARNING UNIT 1: What it means to do mathematics

to assimilate into – but just a collection of memorised rules and facts. For teachers

in the intermediate phase, the danger lies in the fact that mechanical computation

can obscure the fact that schemata are not being constructed or built up, especially in

the first few years – this is to the detriment of learners’ understanding in later years.

connections of an idea to existing ideas.

Understanding depends on the existence of appropriate ideas and the creation of new

connections. The greater the number of appropriate connections to a network of

ideas, the better the understanding will be. A person’s understanding exists along

a continuum. At one pole, an idea is associated with many others in a rich network

of related ideas. This is the pole of so-called “relational understanding”. At the other

pole, the ideas are loosely connected, or isolated from each other. This is the pole

of so-called “instrumental understanding”.

de Walle (2007).

where ideas are nearly always isolated and disconnected.

Grossmann (1986) draws attention to one of Piaget’s teaching and learning principles:

the importance of children learning by their own discovery. When learners acquire

knowledge through self-discovery, the knowledge has more meaning because

discovery facilitates the process of building cognitive structures (constructing

a network of connected ideas). Recall of information (concepts or procedures) is

easier than recall of unrelated knowledge transmitted to the learner.

Through the process of discovery (or investigation), a learner passes through a process

of grasping the basic relations (or connections) of an event, while discarding irrelevant

relations. In this way, they arrive at a concept (idea) together with an understanding

of the relations that give the concept meaning. They can therefore continue coping

with a good deal of meaningful new, but in fact highly related, information.

We infer from the above that the learner arrives at a concept that is derived from a

schema (a network of connected ideas) rather than from direct instruction from the

teacher. This produces the kind of learner who is independent, able to think, and able

to express ideas and solve problems. This represents a shift to learner centredness −

where learners are knowledge developers and users rather than storage systems

and performers (Grossmann, 1986).

ACTIVITY 1.10

(1) Explain the difference between relational understanding and instrumental

understanding.

(2) Explain why relational understanding has a far greater potential for

promoting reflective thinking than instrumental understanding.

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relational to instrumental understanding. Give an example of a mathematical

concept and explain how it might be understood at different places along

this continuum.

Understanding is about being able to connect ideas together, rather than simply

knowing isolated facts. The question, “Does the learner know it?” must be replaced

with “How well does the learner understand it?” The first question refers to

instrumental understanding and the second leads to relational understanding.

Memorising rules and using “recipe” methods diligently in computations are to

know the idea. Where the learner connects a network of ideas to form a new idea

and arrive at solutions is called “understanding the idea” and contributes to how

a learner understands.

ACTIVITY 1.11

Read the above description about “understanding mathematics”.

(2) Now answer the following questions based on the definition:

In the drawing alongside blue dots (B) are used to illustrate ideas we already have,

and the red dot (R) shows the new idea that we construct. In this way, a network

of connections between our ideas is established. The more ideas used and the

more connections made, the better we understand.

Explain the relationship between this picture and

the definition.

(b) What is the difference between the following two

words used in the definition of understanding?

Quantity and quality (of connections)

(c) Explain the word “measure” in the definition.

Conceptual knowledge of mathematics consists of logical relationships constructed

internally and existing in the mind as a part of the greater network of ideas:

This is knowledge made up of relationships between objects, which are not

inherent in the objects themselves, but are introduced through mental activity.

•• By its very nature, conceptual knowledge is knowledge that is understood.

Procedural knowledge of mathematics is knowledge of the rules and procedures

that one uses in performing routine mathematical tasks.

12

LEARNING UNIT 1: What it means to do mathematics

algorithm, according to Njisane (Moodly, 1992), is a procedure that consists of a

finite number of steps that lead to a result.

A simple example of an algorithm is the set of steps used to perform the addition

5

of fractions, for example, 1 + . The use of algorithms is often helpful, but, to be

3 6

helpful, algorithms must be understood. Njisane (Moodly, 1992) comments that an

algorithm that is properly understood may free the mind for further thinking, whereas

using an algorithm without insight may be frustrating. This is the difference between

the “how” and the “why” or between procedural and relational understanding (i.e.

forming a network of connected ideas). If the procedure refers to what we do when

following a set of steps, then relational understanding refers to why we do whatever

we do.

Mathematics consists of more than just concepts. Of course, there are step-by-step

procedures for performing tasks such as the following:

1 932 ÷ 28 (long division)

0,43 × 0,25 (multiplying decimal numbers)

Concepts are represented by special words and mathematical symbols (such as π, =, <,

>, //, ≡, ∠ABC = 45°, and so on). These procedures and symbols can be connected

to or supported by concepts − however, few cognitive relationships are needed to

have knowledge of a procedure (since these could be diligently memorised through

drill and practice).

procedures that need to be followed. For example, if we write (8 + 7) ÷ 3

+ 10, it means a different procedure has to be followed than if we write it as

8 + 7 ÷ (3 + 10). We obtain different answers when we follow different procedures.

Therefore, we find that

(8 + 7) ÷ 3 + 10 = 15 ÷ 3 + 10 = 5 + 10 = 15 and

15

8 + 7 ÷ (3 + 10) = 15 ÷ 13 = .

13

However, the meaning we attach to symbolic knowledge depends on how it is

understood – that is, what concepts and other ideas we connect to the symbols.

It is important for you to have a good perspective of how manipulatives (concrete,

physical models) can help or fail to help learners construct ideas.

Mathematical concepts have only mental existence – that is, the subject matter

of mathematics is not to be found in the external world, accessible to our vision,

hearing and other sense organs. We can only “do” mathematics because our minds

have what Skemp (1964) refers to as “reflective intelligence” – the ability of the

mind to turn away from the physical world and turn towards itself. We can use

physical objects to represent mathematical ideas, and to help us in the teaching of

these ideas, but in the end, learners will have to form the idea in their own head, as

a concept, unattached to any real object.

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The figure below provides different mathematics representations (graph, table and

diagram are grouped as pictures).

ACTIVITY 1.12

Answer the following questions:

(1) You may talk of 100 people, 100 rand or 100 acts of kindness. Reflect on this

statement and then explain what is meant by the concept of 100. Discuss

this concept of 100 with fellow colleagues (students). If you do not agree,

establish why your understanding differs.

(2) Explain what a “model” for a mathematical concept refers to. Provide an

example.

(3) List at least five models (apparatus/manipulatives) that you would use in

your mathematics teaching. Indicate in each case how you would use the

particular model mentioned.

Kilpatrick, Swafford and Findell (2001) conjured up the term mathematical proficiency to

capture important aspects of doing mathematics in terms of expertise, competence,

knowledge and facility. According to Kilpatrick et al (2001:115), mathematical

proficiency is what is necessary for “anyone to learn mathematics successfully”

and comprises five components, referred to as strands. The strands are not viewed as

independent from one another, but represent different aspects of a complex whole.

The strands are identified as conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence,

adaptive reasoning and productive disposition (Kilpatrick et al, 2001). The strands are

interwoven and interdependent in the development of proficiency in mathematics,

as captured in the following figure:

14

LEARNING UNIT 1: What it means to do mathematics

(Kilpatrick et al, 2001:117)

their functional understanding is formed. It enables learners to know more than

isolated facts and methods. Learners come to understand why a mathematical idea

is important and the kinds of contexts in which it is useful. The learners’ acquired

knowledge is organised into a coherent whole, allowing them to learn new ideas by

connecting those ideas with what they already know.

perspective is characterised by the following: comprehension of ideas; ready access

to skills and procedures; an ability to formulate and solve problems; a capacity to

reflect on, evaluate and adapt one’s knowledge; the ability to reason from what is

known to what is wanted; and a habitual inclination to make sense of and value what

is being learnt. Teaching is a complex activity and, like other complex activities, can

be conceived in terms of familiar components. In the same way as mathematical

proficiency itself involves interwoven strands, teaching for mathematical proficiency

requires similarly interrelated components. In the context of teaching, proficiency

requires

teaching

•• fluency in carrying out basic instructional routines

•• strategic competence in planning effective instruction and solving problems that

arise during instruction

•• adaptive reasoning in justifying and explaining one’s instructional practices and

in reflecting on those practices so as to improve them

•• a productive disposition towards mathematics, teaching, learning and the

improvement of practice

teaching proficiency are interrelated.

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ACTIVITY 1.13

(1) How would you differentiate between mathematical proficiency and

mathematical teaching proficiency?

(2) What are the benefits of mathematical proficiency? Use your own words to

answer this question.

REFERENCES

Grossmann, R. 1986. A finger on Mathematics. Johannesburg: Esson.

Kilpatrick, J, Swafford, J & Findell, B. 2001. Adding it up: helping children to learn

mathematics. Washington DC: National Academy Press, chapter 4, 115–155.

Njisane, RA. 1992. Mathematical thinking, in Mathematics education for in-service and pre-

service teachers, edited by M Moodly, R Njisane & N Presmeg. Pietermaritzburg:

Shuter & Shooter.

Skemp, RR. 1964. A three-part theory for learning mathematics, in New approaches

to mathematics teaching, edited by FW Land. London: Macmillan.

Trapton, P. 1986. Mathematical learning in early childhood. NCTM, 37th yearbook.

Van de Walle, JA. 2007. Elementary and middle school mathematics: teaching developmentally.

6th edition. New York: Pearson Education.

16

LEARNING UNIT 2 LEARNING UNIT 2

2 TEACHING THROUGH PROBLEM

SOLVING

After working through this unit you should be able to

•• critically reflect on the value of teaching using problems

•• select and design appropriate tasks and problems for learning mathematics

•• explain how problem-solving skills develop while learners are learning

A problem is a context-rich or worthwhile task that requires a learner to be engaged

with in order to solve it. Such a task has the potential to allow learners to grapple with

the problem at hand, while using a variety of strategies. Often these problems have

no prescribed or memorised rules or methods to solve or there is not a perception

that there is one “correct” solution method. Worthwhile tasks offer boundaries or

constraints within which students have the freedom to explore.

At the outset, it is necessary to draw a distinction between problem solving and the

doing of routine exercises. Nicholson (1992) explains this as follows:

which was not immediately obvious. A problem-solving task is one that that

engages the learners in thinking about and developing the important math-

ematics they need to learn.

in which teachers explain a rule, provide an example and then drill learners using

similar examples. Many authors and researchers (e.g. Nicholson, 1992) have described

problem solving as the essence of mathematics, and yet many learners spend most of

their time on routine exercises. It should be emphasised that whether something is

a problem or not is dependent on the level of sophistication of the problem solver.

A learner in Grade 8 may be required to solve a problem in which the method and

solution are not obvious, and yet the same problem given to an older child may be

quite routine.

Hiebert et al (1997) bring the problem-solving approach for the teaching and learning of

mathematics with understanding to the fore when they state the following:

OPM1501/117

helpful to think of understanding as something that results from solving

problems, rather than something we can teach directly.

However, problem solving should be more than a slogan offered for its appeal and

widespread acceptance – it should be the cornerstone of the mathematics curriculum

and instruction, fostering the development of mathematical knowledge and a chance

to apply and connect previously constructed mathematical understanding.

Problem solving is presented in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement for

Intermediate Phase 4–6 (Department of Basic Education 2011) as follows:

that are able to demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related

systems by recognising that problem solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

of people to solve problems. Not only is problem solving a critical activity in human

progress and even in survival itself, but it is also an extremely interesting activity.

ACTIVITY 2.1

Consider the following problem given to Grade 4 learners:

Complete the following to make it a true sentence. (A true sentence will be obtained

if the LHS of the equation is equal to the RHS of the equation.)

10 + _ _ _ = 4 + (3 + _ _ _ _)

Answer the following questions:

(1) Find the numbers for each blank to make the equation true.

(2) Find different pairs of numbers that will make the equation true.

(3) What is the relationship between the two numbers of any correct solution?

George Pólya (1887–1985) (1957) was well known for his book, How to solve it. He

outlined four steps for solving problems, which are still used in many circles today.

The steps are as follows:

(1) Understand the problem.

(2) Devise a plan.

(3) Carry out the plan.

(4) Look back.

ACTIVITY 2.2

Select any strategy to solve the following problems. You must describe in your

own words how you are using the strategy.

Problem 1

Jack and Jill are at the same spot at the bottom of the hill, hoping to fetch a pail of

water. They both start walking up the hill. Jack walks 5 metres every 25 seconds,

18

LEARNING UNIT 2: Teaching through problem solving

and Jill walks 3 metres every 10 seconds. They walk at a constant rate. Who will

reach the pail of water first?

Problem 2

In the diagram alongside, assume that the edge of each

square is 1 unit. Add squares to this shape so that the

perimeter (the distance around the entire shape) is 18

units.

Tasks or problems can and should be set that engage learners in thinking about

and developing the important mathematics they need to learn. The traditional or

stereotypical approach to teaching goes something like this:

•• The teacher accompanies the rule with a conceptual explanation (perhaps with

pictures so that learners can see the concepts).

•• The learners are aware of the exercises that will be given to them, and how to

do them.

However, the explanation is of little value since the rule is all that is necessary to get

through the day. An atmosphere that promotes curiosity, which encourages learners

to test their own hypotheses and to pursue their own predictions, is lacking. Learners

are not encouraged to create and invent their own constructions or ideas.

ACTIVITY 2.3

Here are some examples of routine and nonroutine questions. Which is which?

Why do you say that?

Find the solutions to each of the questions, and explain your own thinking processes.

You might find some of the questions problematic. Do not worry about that, but

give your best.

Just try to do them to the best of your knowledge. Be honest when you write about

your own experience when writing up your solutions.

(2) Which number, when rounded off, becomes 34,6? What are the largest and

smallest possible numbers?

(3) Steven saved R1 327 towards a tablet that costs R8 418. If he saves R1 000

per month, in how many months’ time will he be able to buy the tablet?

(4) 1 327 + □ = 8 418

(5) A builder is building a new house. He worked out that 2 painters should be

able to complete the painting in 11 days. Each painter works an 8-hour day

at R7 per hour. The paint cost R1 260. How much money would the builder

spend on having the house painted?

Providing learners with opportunities to explore concepts in their own ways and

equipping them to deal with nonroutine tasks begs the question: Where do we start?

OPM1501/119

of the key principles we all learnt about in our initial teacher training: moving from

the known to the unknown. That means starting from where the learners are and

then presenting them with a problem that challenges them to extend their thinking.

The stereotypical traditional approach to mathematics teaching goes something

like this:

•• Learners practise for a while.

•• Learners are expected to use the skills in solving typical problems.

This approach has its problems, as Van de Walle (2007:38) point out:

The first difficulty with this approach is that it begins where the teacher is

rather than where the learner is. It assumes that all learners will be able to

make sense of the explanation in the manner the teacher thinks best. The

second difficulty with the teach-then-solve approach is that problem solving

is separated from the learning process. The learners expect the teacher to tell

them the rules and are unlikely to solve problems for which solution methods

have not been provided. In essence, learning mathematics is separated from

“doing mathematics”. This does not make sense.

Consider the following:

•• Begin where the learners are, not where you as teachers are.

•• Teaching should begin with the ideas that learners already have – the ideas they

will use to create new ones.

•• Engage learners in tasks or activities that are problem based and that require

thought.

Firstly, we need to understand what a problem is. A problem is any task or activity for

which the learners have no prescribed or memorised rules or methods. Learners should

also not have the perception that there is a specific “correct” solution or method.

•• engages learners in the aspect of mathematics they are required to learn

•• requires learners to explain and justify their methods as well as their answers

The methods that are used may be varied. They may involve hands-on material or

drawings; they can be simple pencil-and-paper tasks; they may be strictly mental

work; or calculators may or may not be used.

20

LEARNING UNIT 2: Teaching through problem solving

solving, then the tasks or activities are the vehicle through which the desired

curriculum is developed. Teachers do not teach the concepts first and then

require learners to do the appropriate exercises – the problem-solving activity

is the vehicle through which the concepts are taught.

Example

Cut open a cereal box (without a lid) so that it can lie flat:

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ACTIVITY 2.4

This is a drawing of a cube without a top (called an open cube).

(1) Which of the nets can be folded to make this box? Redraw these in your script.

(2) Now draw three different nets for a closed cube (6 faces).

Recall that one advantage of a problem-based approach is that it can help accommodate

the diversity of learners in every classroom. Teachers should not dictate how learners

must think about a problem in order to solve it. When a task is set, learners could

be told: “Use the ideas you own to solve this problem”.

Learners in a class will have different ideas about how they can best solve a problem.

They will draw on their own network of mental tools, concepts and ideas. This means

that there will be many ways (multiple entry points) to tackle the problem. Although

most problems have singular correct answers, there are often many ways to get there.

Find the area of the cover of your mathematics book, that

is, how many square tiles will fit on the cover of the book?

Some different solution methods at different entry points

are reflected in the frames shown below:

22

LEARNING UNIT 2: Teaching through problem solving

Place tiles along the edges of noting that the tiles are 2 cm on

the book and multiply them. each side – then multiply.

PROBLEM ON AREA

Cover with tiles and count. length of the rows and the number of

rows – multiply to calculate the total.

Having thought about these possible points, you will be better prepared to provide

a hint that is appropriate for learners who are “stuck” with strategies different to

the others.

ACTIVITY 2.5

(1) What does it mean to say that a task has multiple entry points?

(2) Write down any mathematical task for intermediate phase learners where

you can use at least two entry points.

You may be inclined to agree that teachers typically spend a small portion of the

allocated time on explaining or reviewing an idea, followed by learners working

through a list of exercises – and more often than not, rehearsing the procedures

already memorised. This approach conditions the learners to focus on procedures

so that they can master the exercises.

This is in stark contrast to a lesson where a class works on a single problem and

engages in discourse about the validity of the solutions – more learning occurs and

much more assessment information is available.

Teaching through problem solving does not mean simply providing a problem or

task, sitting back and waiting for something to happen. The teacher is responsible for

making the atmosphere and the lesson work. To this end, Van de Walle, Karp and

Bay-Williams (2016) see a lesson as consisting of three main parts: before, during and

after. Van de Walle et al (2016:42) propose the following simple three-part structure

for lessons when teaching using problem solving:

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If you allow time for each of the before, during and after parts of the lesson, it is quite

easy to devote a full period to one seemingly simple problem. In fact, there are times

when the “during” and “after” parts may extend into the next day or even longer!

As long as the problematic feature of the task is the mathematics you want learners

to learn, much good learning will result from engaging learners in only one problem

at a time.

What you do in the “before” phase of a lesson will vary according to the task. The

actual presentation of the task or problem may occur at the beginning or at the end

of your “before” actions. However, you will have to engage learners first in some

form of activity directly related to the problem in order to prepare them mentally

and to make clear all expectations in solving the problem.

The following strategies may be used in the before phase of the lesson:

•• Begin with a simple version of the task or reduce the task to simpler terms.

•• Brainstorm: Where the task is not straightforward, allow learners to suggest

solutions and strategies, thereby producing a variety of solutions.

•• Estimate or use mental computation. For the development of computational

procedure, allow learners to do the computation mentally or to estimate the

answer independently.

•• Be sure the task is understood. This action is not optional. You must always be

sure that learners understand the problem before setting them to work. Remember

that their perspective is different from yours. Have them restate the problem in

their own words, as this will force them to think about the problem.

•• Establish expectations. This action is essential. Learners need to be clearly told

what is expected of them, for example, the following:

–– Explain (in writing) why you think your answer is correct.

–– When working in groups, only one written explanation should come from

the group.

–– Share your ideas with a partner and then select the best approach to be

presented.

24

LEARNING UNIT 2: Teaching through problem solving

Once you are comfortable that learners are ready to work on the task, it is time to

let go. Your role now shifts to that of a facilitator:

•• You must demonstrate confidence in and respect for your learners’ abilities.

•• Your learners should get into the habit of working in groups (to indulge in co-

operative group work).

•• Listen actively to find out what your learners know, how they think, and how

they are approaching the task.

•• Provide hints and suggestions when the group is searching for a place to begin

or when they stumble. Suggest that they use a particular manipulative or draw a

picture if it seems appropriate.

•• Encourage testing of ideas. Avoid being the source of approval of their results

or ideas. Instead, remind the learners that answers, without testing and without

reasons, are not acceptable.

•• Find a second method. This shifts the value system in the classroom from answers

to processes and thinking. It is a good way for learners to make new and different

connections. The second method can also help learners, who have made an error,

to find their own mistake.

•• Suggest extensions or generalisations. Many of the good problems are simple on

the surface. The extensions are normally excellent. The general question at the

heart of mathematics as a science of pattern and order is: What can you find

out about that? This question looks at something interesting to generalise. The

following questions will help to suggest different extensions: What if you tried

…? Would the idea work for …?

The “after” phase is critical, as everyone, learners as well as the teacher, often learn

the most in this phase. It is not a time to check answers, but for the class to share

ideas. As Van de Walle (2007:46) comment:

Over time, you will develop your class into a community of learners who together are involved

in making sense of mathematics. Teach your learners about your expectations for this time

and how to interact with their peers.

In the after phase of a lesson, you may find that you will engage in the following

activities:

•• Engage the class in discussion. Rule number one is that the discussion is more

important than hearing an answer. Learners must be encouraged to share and

explore the variety of strategies, ideas and solutions, and then to communicate

these ideas in a rich mathematical discourse.

•• List the answers of all groups on the board without comment. Unrelated

ideas should be listened to with interest, even if they are incorrect. These can be

written on the board, and testing the hypothesis may become the problem for

another day, until additional evidence comes up that either supports or disproves it.

•• Give learners space to explain their solutions and processes. A suggestion

here is to begin the discussion by calling first on learners who are shy, passive

or lack the ability to express themselves – because the more obvious ideas are

generally given at the outset of a discussion. These reticent learners can then

more easily participate and thus be valued.

OPM1501/125

•• Allow learners to defend their answers, and then open the discussion to the

class. Resist the temptation to judge the correctness of an answer. In place

of comments that are judgemental, make comments that encourage learners to

extend their answers, and that show you are genuinely interested. You may ask,

for example, “Will you please tell me how you worked that out?”

All of the goals of problem solving can and will be achieved in a classroom that

employs a problem-solving approach and allows learners to use and develop their

problem-solving strategies. It is important for the teacher to be clearly aware of the

goals of problem solving and focus attention on them regularly.

The following are three important goals of teaching using problem solving:

problem (in the before phase of a lesson).

•• Use plan-and-carry-out strategies (in the before and during phase of the lesson).

•• Reflect on the problem-solving process to ensure that learning has taken place, and

to consolidate the learning that has taken place (in the after phase of the lesson).

•• Look for a pattern.

•• Make a table or chart.

•• Try a simpler form of the problem.

•• Guess and check.

•• Make an organised list.

Some looking-back strategies are as follows:

•• Look for extensions to the solution.

•• Look for generalisations of the solution.

ACTIVITY 2.6

(1) Give reasons why there should be a shift in the thinking about mathematics

teaching.

(2) Use your own words to describe the teacher’s actions in the before, during

and after phases of a problem-solving lesson.

An important practical step that every teacher takes daily in working towards

problem-solving goals is the selection of tasks for learners to work on. Teachers do

this with more or less thought on different occasions. The tasks that learners work

on will influence their experiences of mathematics and are vital in their construction

of knowledge and their mathematical development. It is important that mathematics

teachers are able to choose tasks carefully and thoughtfully, in order to achieve their

26

LEARNING UNIT 2: Teaching through problem solving

goals for their learners’ learning. This is particularly the case when working with

new concepts of mathematics and learning.

Stein, Smith, Henningsen and Silver (2000) provide a framework for differentiating

between tasks, describing the different levels of thinking they require in order for

learners to be successfully engaged. They distinguish between tasks that have low-

level demands, such as memorisation and purely procedural tasks; those tasks that

demand a high level of mathematical thinking, such as procedural tasks that link to

enhancing understanding and sense-making; and those tasks that involve learners

in “doing mathematics” as they explore relationships and understand mathematical

concepts and processes.

The table below summarises the main features of the task analysis suggested by

Stein et al (2000).

Procedures with connections

Memorisation tasks

tasks

learnt facts, rules, formulae or the purpose of developing deeper

definitions levels of understanding

•• Cannot be solved using a procedure •• Suggest pathways to follow

•• Are not ambiguous – involve exact •• Are usually represented in multiple

reproduction of previously seen ways, for example, diagrams,

material manipulatives, symbols, etc.

•• Have no connection to concepts or •• Require some degree of cognitive

meanings that underline the facts, effort – learners are required to

etc., being learnt or reproduced engage with conceptual ideas

underlying procedures to be

successful

Procedures without connections Doing mathematics tasks

•• Require limited cognitive effort for algorithmic thinking

success •• Require learners to explore and

•• Show little ambiguity of what needs understand mathematical concepts,

to be done and how to do it processes or relationships

•• Have no connections to concepts or •• Demand self-regulation

meanings underlying the procedure •• Require learners to access relevant

•• Require no explanations or few knowledge

descriptions of how procedures •• Require learners to analyse the task

work •• Require considerable cognitive

effort and may lead to some levels

of anxiety due to unpredictable

nature of the solution process

Teaching using a problem-based approach requires the development of tasks that

take into account the current understanding of learners, as well as the needs of the

curriculum. The value of this approach includes the following:

•• When solving problems, learners focus their attention on ideas and sense-making.

This leads to the development of new ideas and enhances understanding. In

OPM1501/127

the directions supplied by the teacher.

•• When solving problems, learners are encouraged to think that they can do

mathematics and that mathematics makes sense. As learners develop their

understanding, their confidence in mathematics also grows.

•• As learners discuss ideas, draw pictures, defend their own solutions, evaluate other

solutions and write explanations, they provide the teacher with insight into their

thought process and their mathematical progress.

•• In solving problems, learners develop reasoning and communication, and

make connections with existing knowledge. These are the processes of “doing”

mathematics, which go beyond the understanding of mathematical content.

•• A problem-based approach is more rewarding and stimulating than a teach-by-

telling approach. Learners are actively engaged in making sense of and solving

the problem. The development of their understanding is exciting for them and

their teacher.

Sense-making

Developing confidence and the capacity for

doing mathematics

Provision of assessment data

Problem solving

Mathematical power

Allowing entry points

Fewer disciplinary problems

Having fun and enjoyment

and to programme learners to be able to carry out routine procedures without

really having to think about what they are actually doing. Only a small percentage

of learners who have emerged at the end of the system, have had any use for

the mathematics they have learnt, and most will use their knowledge of simple

arithmetic, assisted by a pocket calculator, to get them through everyday life. We

are sure you will agree that there must be more to the teaching of mathematics

than simply being able to do calculations, solving equations or being able to

memorise theories.

ACTIVITY 2.7

Give your own opinion on the following statement: “It is easier for a teacher to

teach using rote learning”.

REFERENCES

Hiebert, J, Carpenter, TP, Fennema, E, Fuson, KC, Wearne, D, Murray, H, Olivier, A

& Human, P. 1997. Making sense: teaching and learning mathematics with understanding.

Portsmouth, UK: Heinemann.

Nicholson, MJ. 1992. Problem solving, in Mathematics education for in-service and pre-

service teachers, edited by M Moodly, R Njisane & N Presmeg. Pietermaritzburg:

Shuter & Shooter.

Pólya, G. 1957. How to solve it. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

28

LEARNING UNIT 2: Teaching through problem solving

Stein, MK, Smith, MS, Henningsen, MA & Silver, EA. 2000. Implementing standards-

based mathematics instruction: a casebook for professional development. New York:

Teachers’ College Press.

Van de Walle, JA, Karp, KS & Bay-Williams, JM. 2016. Elementary and middle school

Mathematics – teaching developmentally. 9th edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education

(Pearson New International Edition).

OPM1501/129

3 NUMBERS AND OPERATIONS

After working through this unit ,you should be able to

•• explain the concept of a “number”

•• use models to represent numbers

•• describe and use operations on numbers

•• describe and use factors and multiples

•• explain and use prime numbers

•• explain and use the rules of divisibility

•• A number is a count or measurement – that is really an idea in our minds.

•• A numeral is a symbol or name that stands for a number.

•• A digit is a single symbol use to make up numerals.

•• So the number is an idea, the numeral is how we write it.

The digits we are using today did not always look like the ones you are used to. It

took centuries to develop the digits to what we are using today. And who knows, in

a couple of hundred years they might look different again.

30

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

The elegant numeration system which we use today is thought to have been invented

by the Hindus from approximately 1 000 BC onwards, to have spread via trade with

the Arabs over centuries to their world, and hence by trade and conquest via the

Moors in Spain, to Europe.

Using only ten symbols, including a zero symbol, and the concept of place

value, we can represent any number we please.

The main features are summarised below (e.g. the number 4 213)

•• Is a denary system. 10 × 10 × 10 10 × 10 10 1

•• The base is ten and 10 × 10 × 10 10 × 10 1

the place values

10 × 10 × 10 1

powers of 10.

•• Has digits to count 10 × 10 × 10

how many times a 4 2 1 3

particular grouping

occurs.

As the grouping number is 10, there will never be more than nine groups in each place.

Our numeration system

•• uses a zero, to “count” the number of an empty set

•• is multiplicative: 4 ×3 (10 × 10 ×210) + 2 × (10 × 10) + 1 × 10 + 3 × 1

•• and additive: (4 × 10 ) + (2 × 10 ) + (1 × 101

) + 3 × 100

ACTIVITY 3.1

(1) Explain the difference between the concepts, digit, numeral and number,

by giving examples.

(2) What is a numeration system?

(3) What is the role of zero in our numeration system?

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Make two numbers using the digits 1 and 3.

•• What numbers can you make?

–– 13 and 31

•• How are they different?

–– Thirteen is 1 ten and 3 ones

–– Thirty-one is 3 tens and 1 one

How many numbers can you make from the digits 3, 5 and 8?

Let us take a look:

3 5 8 = 358 In a basic digital system,

a numeral is a sequence

3 8 5 = 385

of digits, which may be

5 3 8 = 538 of arbitrary length. Each

5 8 3 = 583 position in the sequence has

a place value, and each digit

8 5 3 = 853 has a value.

8 3 5 = 835

Place value

The place values are the value of the PLACE where the digit is in the numeral. In

a three-digit number, there are three places, the hundreds, the tens and the units.

The value of the numeral is computed by multiplying each digit in the sequence by

its place value, and summing the results.

These are the

3 5 8 place values.

of the 3 is

HUNDREDS.

The numeral 358 has the value of 3 hundreds plus 5 tens plus 8 ones.

“Listen” how we read it: three hundred and fifty eight or just three hundred fifty eight.

for 5 tens.

The face value of a digit in a numeral is simply the number that you see.

3 456

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LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

Total value

The total value (some textbooks refer to “the value” only) of a digit in a numeral is the

face value × the place value

So the total value of the 4 in 3 456 is 4 × 100 = 400

In the tens place of the numeral 234, we have a digit with a face value of 3,

and a place value of 10, giving us a total value of 30.

ACTIVITY 3.2

(1) Our numeration system employs place value. What is your understanding

of place value?

(2) Write down the place value of the underlined digits:

54 982

459 234

(3) Write down the total value of the underlined digits:

54 982

459 234

Young children need models to develop an understanding of place value. We will

discuss a few here.

Zoltan Dienes (1916–2014) developed these base 10

blocks to teach place value.

because of his theories on how mathematical structures

can be taught from the early grades onwards using

multiple embodiments through manipulatives, games,

stories and dance.

OPM1501/133

Examples

Illustrate the following numbers using Dienes blocks (also called base 10 blocks):

H T U

326

3 2 6

TH H T U

2476

2 4 7 6

Unifix cubes are colourful plastic connecting cubes

that learners can stack up to bars of 10. They are

useful for working with numbers under 100,

because the piles become quite big if one works

with more. The benefit is that they can be placed

together or taken apart. Number bonds can be

illustrated using Unifix cubes.

Example

Illustrate the following numbers using Unifix blocks:

Number Place value chart Representation

H T U

135

1 3 5

34

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

Bundles of sticks, grouped in tens, and then tied with a rubber band

ACTIVITY 3.3

What numbers are represented in the grouping of sticks above?

3.4.4 Beans

Beans in bottle tops and empty match boxes

Example

Illustrate the following numbers using beans

H T U

148

1 4 8

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The hundred chart has many advantages in teaching number concepts.

ACTIVITY 3.4

(1) Find a row or column where all the units digits have a face value of 3.

(2) Find a row or column where 9 of the tens digits have a face value of 3.

(3) Find the numbers where the face values of the tens digits are the same as

the units digits. What do you notice? Draw a line through them.

(4) Find the numbers where the sum of the tens digit and the units digit is 9.

What do you notice?

(5) What do the numbers in the last column have in common?

Below are number illustrations of number cards, and how a number can be built up.

the other to look like this: 3 8 5

There are four basic operations in mathematics, namely addition, subtraction,

multiplication and division. Once you understand how numbers are made up

(hundreds, tens, units, etc.) you will have a better understanding of operations on

numbers.

36

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

Write a paragraph on student-invented strategies.

Invented Strategies can refer to any strategy other than the traditional algorithm.

Invented Strategies do not employ the use of physical materials or counting by ones

to produce a product. It may be easier to think of them as personal and flexible strategies

(Van de Walle & Lovin, 2006). These strategies are built on students’ own ideas and

understandings, and often rely heavily on story problems and children’s literature.

–– Enhancement of base-ten concepts: research has found a relationship between the

development of base-ten concepts and the process of inventing computational

strategies.

–– Built on student understanding: students will not often use a strategy they do not

understand, and frequently cannot explain why traditional algorithms work.

–– Students make fewer errors: systematic errors are much less typical of invented

strategies as opposed to traditional algorithms.

–– Serve students at least as well on standard tests: students using this method achieve

similar results to students using traditional algorithms. Students using Invented

Strategies also tend to fair better on word problems.

Explain to students that the standard algorithms are not always the best methods to

use. Break students into “teams” and challenge them to try to come up with a faster

way to solve a problem. Make sure they can explain how they got to the answer. Try

embedding the computational tasks within a simple context, such as a story problem.

By using this method, you can tailor your story problems to your advantage, to try to

coax a particular strategy out of your students. The use of children’s literature may

also be helpful here. Van de Walle and Lovin (2006) suggests a book called Cookies

about the history of the Famous Amos cookie business. This may help get students

engaged in the subject matter. The most important aspect of Invented Strategies,

however, is that students are able to explain their solution methods. This is where

whole-class sharing is essential. Students must be able to share and explain their

methods, to ask and answer questions of their classmates and to learn and build on

others’ strategies. Van de Walle and Lovin (2006) suggest making a firm rule that

no one may use a strateg y that he or she does not understand.

Four strategies for 46 + 38:

(1) Add tens, add ones, then combine (40 + 30 = 70, 6 + 8 = 14, 70 + 14 = 84)

(2) Add on tens, then add ones (46 + 30 = 76, 76 + 8 = 84)

(3) Move some to make tens (44 + 40 = 84)

(4) Use a nice number and compensate (46 + 40 = 86, 40 – 2 = 38, so 86 – 2 = 84)

ACTIVITY 3.5

You want to buy a book priced R105, but you find you only have R89 in your purse.

Think of ways in which you can find how much money you still need. You do not

have pen and paper or a calculator with you, and you do not want to rely on the

salesperson to work it out.

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There are various ways in which you can reason to find the answer.

One way would be:

•• If you had R100, how much would you have been short? R5

•• If you had R90, how much would you have been short? R15

•• But now you have R89, so you have R15 + R1 short. R16

Now write down another way in which you could do the calculation.

Algorithms are clever or smart strategies for computing that have been developed

over time. Each is based on performing the operation on one place value at a time

with transitions to an adjacent position (trades, regrouping, “borrows,” or “carries”).

These algorithms work for all numbers but are often far from the most efficient or

useful methods of computing.

One of the most common algorithm for addition of whole numbers is based on the

following rules:

(2) Begin in the ones’ column.

(3) Do not keep more than 9 units in any column.

(4) Carry over unit(s) over 9 by trading with one unit of the next column to the left.

ACTIVITY 3.6

(1) What is an algorithm?

(2) Investigate and report on the differences between standard algorithm and

learners’ own invented strategies.

(3) Write down the benefits of student-invented strategies in your own words.

Example

Use Dienes blocks to explain how to add 8 + 6. This is a simple example, but it will

show you how to exchange the blocks.

38

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

(ii) Take 2 tinies from the second group and place it with the 8 tines.

(iii) You now have 10 tinies in the first group and 4 tinies in the second group.

Exchange the 10 tinies for one long.

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Use Dienes blocks to show 367 + 134.

Use number cards to illustrate the addition:

40

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

The two examples above demonstrated vertical and horizontal algorithms for addition.

•• In a horizontal algorithm, you will break up the numbers into 100s, 10s, etc.,

and place them in a row.

•• In a vertical algorithm, you will place the numbers underneath each other.

For the horizontal algorithm, you need to separate the hundreds, tens and units,

from the number, and then add

•• hundreds to hundreds

•• tens to tens

•• units to units

Vertical algorithm for addition

Traditionally, you might know this algorithm for addition as “carrying”. To “carry”

is another way of talking about exchange:

•• 10 units to one ten

•• 10 tens to one hundred

•• 10 hundreds to one thousand, and so on

Here is another example to illustrate the “carrying” from one place value to the next.

Understanding “carrying”: using Dienes blocks to add

Traditionally, you might know this algorithm for subtraction as “borrowing”. To

“borrow” is another way of talking about exchange:

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•• one hundred to 10 tens

•• one thousand to 10 hundreds, and so on

Understanding “borrowing”: using Dienes blocks to subtract

ACTIVITY 3.7

Use Dienes blocks to illustrate the following operations:

(1) 24 + 57 (2) 196 + 105

(3) 44 – 17 (4) 416 – 109

Use number cards to illustrate the following operations:

(5) 458 + 263 (6) 458 – 263

42

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

Addition

Compensation

We can convert numbers to more manageable ones, to make the calculation easier.

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Subtraction

Compensation

Bridging

This is also called the shopkeeper’s method. This is

how the shop assistant counts out your change when

you pay cash.

If you buy an article for R316, and you pay with two R200

notes. How much change will you receive?

Start with the 316, and then add on until you get to 400.

4 + 10 + 20 + 50 = 84

R400 – R316 = R84

On number line

44

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

ACTIVITY 3.8

(1) Use compensation to add or subtract the following:

(a) 468 + 39

(b) 468 – 39

(c) 399 + 499 + 599

(d) 10 000 – 599

(2) Use the number line to show the addition or subtraction of

(a) 991 + 69

(b) 500 – 472

(c) 1 099 + 101

Multiplication

ACTIVITY 3.9

The following excerpt are learners’ responses to the problem below (Van de Walle,

2007). Explain in your own words how each of the three children solved the problem:

There were 35 dog sleds. Each sled was pulled by 12 dogs. How many dogs were there in all?

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Use Dienes blocks to show 23 × 7

Multiplication by 10

Often teachers would say to their learners: When you multiply by 10, “you must simply

put a zero at the end”. The problem is that this “rule” only works for multiplication of

whole numbers by 10. When dealing with decimals, that rule does not work. Now

teachers often say: “move the comma for every zero in the multiplier”.

ACTIVITY 3.10

(1) Show 329 × 100 by drawing a place value chart. Explain why there are now

2 zeros at the end.

(2) Mrs Tesfaya has 6 boxes of markers. Each box has 19 markers in it. If she

sold each marker for R2,70, how much money would Mrs Tesfaya earn?

46

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

Division

Division is an operation that splits a quantity into smaller, equal-sized quantities.

It is important that you understand the two different concepts of division, namely

sharing and grouping.

Consider the following two examples:

(1) Patsy wants to share 30 sweets between 5 children. How many will each child

receive?

(2) We have to transport 70 children to a function. Each mini-bus can take 10

children. How many mini-buses do we need?

Let us look at the action involved in each of the above.

SHARING

Sharing is usually the first concept of division that learners encounter. It is used to

share items out equally among a number of people, such as sweets.

•• In sharing, the number of groups is known. The quantity of items in each group is

unknown. The answer is found by sharing the items equally between the groups.

Here one would ask the question: How many items will each person receive?

GROUPING

•• In grouping, the quantity in each group is known. The number of groups is

unknown.

Solutions

(1) Sharing can be a one-by-one action. Patsy can share her sweets by

handing them out one at a time. Each child will receive 5 sweets.

(2) When grouping is involved, we have to make groups of 7 and see how

many groups we need to make 70. Ten buses will be needed.

Let us illustrate division of 234 ÷ 3 using Dienes blocks to show how the algorithm

can be understood.

First set out 2 flats, 3 longs and 4 tinies.

234 = 200 + 30 + 4

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48

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

Read the section on standard algorithms for addition in your textbook on page 261.

ACTIVITY 3.11

(1) Use the above method for division to find

228 ÷ 12

642 ÷ 6

(2) Mrs Tesfaya learnt that R1 340 worth of tickets were sold at the carnival. If

tickets cost 4 for R10, how many tickets were sold?

(3) A company donates 935 pencils to a school. The pencils are divided evenly

among 9 classrooms. The rest of the pencils are given to the library. How

many pencils were donated to the school and to the library?

(4) You have R15 in 5c and 10c pieces. If you have the same number of each

kind of coin, how many 5c pieces do you have?

(5) In the summer, you can earn R4 a day by cutting the neighbour’s grass.

How many days will it take you to earn R184?

(6) The goat in the village weighs 145 kg. It is five times heavier than the baby

goat. How much does the baby goat weigh?

(7) Three hundred children are divided into two groups. There are 50 more

children in the first group than in the second group. How many children are

there in the second group?

(8) Three thousand exercise books are arranged in 3 piles. The first pile has 10

more books than the second pile. The number of books in the second pile

is twice the number of books in the third pile. How many books are there

in the third pile?

In recording and reading large numbers, we adopt certain powers of ten as provisional

units. The face values of the various digits in the resulting numeral are the results of

counting these provisional units. The total of the place values times the face values

of the digits is the number of units we want to count (the total value).

We can use number cards to help learners understand the place values of larger

numbers.

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You should be able to read large numbers. To help reading large numbers, we choose

certain collective nouns to name provisional units.

Quintillions Quadrillions Trillions Billions Millions Thousands Ones

H T U H T U H T U H T U H T U H T U H T U

105 is 1 with 5 zeros 100 000 One hundred thousand

10 is 1 with 8 zeros

8

100 000 000 One hundred million

1013 is 1 with ___ zeros ______________ _________________

1019 is 1 with ___ zeros ______________ _________________

ACTIVITY 3.12

Write the following numbers in the table below:

(1) 234 567 890 Read the number (write down in words).

(2) 1 011 110 111 Read the number (write down in words).

(3) 70 010 001 002 Read the number (write down in words).

(4) Four million, five hundred and one thousand and one

(5) Twenty-five quadrillion, three hundred and ten billion six hundred and twelve

H T U H T U H T U H T U H T U H T U H T U

50

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

Complete

(6) What is one more than a million? _______________________

ACTIVITY 3.13

Write the following numbers in symbols:

(2) One hundred and seven million five hundred and nine ___________________

(3) Fifty billion two million and one hundred thousand ______________________

(5) Three trillion four hundred and eight million and eight thousand

___________________________________________________

Showing a number on the number line is an important way to teach learners to scale

the number line in an appropriate way.

For example:

•• To show a number between 0 and 10, we will scale the number line from 0 to 10

(using 1 cm for a unit).

•• To show a number between 0 and 100, we will scale the number line from 0 to

100 (using 1 cm for ten).

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•• To show a number between 0 and 1 000, we will scale the number line from 0

to 1 000 (using 1 cm for hundred).

Rounding off numbers is mostly used in measurement, but it is also used in estimation

when we do mental calculations. If we have to round off a number, we are required

to work to a certain degree of accuracy.

If 23 533 tickets were sold for a cricket match, what then would the most appropriate

way to say how many people attended the match (provided they all attended of course).

There were about 23 530 people at the match (rounded off to the nearest ____)

There were about 23 500 people at the match (rounded off to the nearest ____)

There were about 24 000 people at the match (rounded off to the nearest ____)

ACTIVITY 3.14

If 34 467 tickets were sold for a cricket match, round this figure off to the nearest

becomes one more)

34 467

digit becomes one more) 34 467

thousands digit becomes one more) 34 467

thousands digit becomes one more) 34 467

Can you come up with a rule for rounding off?

Before looking any further, can you write down a definition of a prime number?

A prime number is a number that has only two different factors, of which 1 is

one of them. 1 is not a prime number.

_________________________

52

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

numbers. In this example, we will find all the prime numbers

between 1 and 100.

Sieve of Eratosthenes

If learners can count in twos, threes, fives and tens, hundreds and thousands, with

understanding, they should easily be able to recognise the multiples of these numbers.

•• What do you notice about all these numbers?

(2) What are we actually doing when we count in twos? _______________________

•• What do you notice about all these numbers?

•• A number is divisible by 2 if the last digit is even:

Example: 234 ; 456 028

•• A number is divisible by 3, when you add all the digits and the sum is a

multiple of 3.

Example: 3 567 3 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 21 and 2 + 1 = 3

∴ 3 567 is divisible by 3.

Example: 11 124 24 is divisible by 4

∴ 11 124 is divisible by 4.

Example: 123 455 ; 340

Example: 45 612 last digit even divisible by 2

Test for 2 and 3

4 + 5 + 6 + 1 + 2 = 18 and 1 + 8 = 9 (a multiple of 3)

∴ 45 612 is divisible by 6

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•• A number is divisible by 9, when you add all the digits and the sum is a

multiple of 9.

Example: 45 612 4 + 5 + 6 + 1 + 2 = 18 and 18 is a multiple of 9

Example: 230 ; 988 500

•• A number is divisible by 11, when you add every second digit, then add the others,

and then subtract the two sums. If the answer is 0 or a multiple of 11, then the

number is divisible by 11.

Example:

1 2 3 4 2 Add 1 + 3 + 2 = 6

1 2 3 4 2 Then add 2 + 4 = 6 6–6=0

∴ 12 342 is divisible by 11

ACTIVITY 3.15

Test the following numbers for divisibility by the given number. You may not do

the actual division, and no calculators are allowed.

(2) 246 789 by 9 and 11

(3) 108 108 by 9 ; 11 and 12.

3.11 MULTIPLES

You all know what a multiple of a number is

M3 = 0 ; 3 ; 6 ; 9 ; 12 ; …..

0 is a multiple of any number.

M4 = 0 ; 4 ; 8 ; 12 ; 16 ; …

The lowest common multiple (LCM) is the lowest number in which two or more

numbers can divide.

M3 = 0 ; 3 ; 6 ; 9 ; 12 ; …..

M4 = 0 ; 4 ; 8 ; 12 ; 16 ; …

Can you see that 12 is the LCM of 3 and 4?

ACTIVITY 3.16

What is the LCM of 2 ; 3 and 5?

M2 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The LCM of 2 ; 3 and 5 is

M3 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

__________

M5 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

54

LEARNING UNIT 3: Numbers and operations

3.12 FACTORS

A factor of a number is a number that can be divided into the number without

leaving a remainder.

F30 = 1 ; 2 ; 3 ; 5 ; 6 ; 10 ; 15 ; 30 the prime factors are 2 ; 3 and 5

An easy and fun way to show learners how to find the prime factors of a number,

is by making use of the factor tree.

Factor trees for 60

60 can be written as 2 × 2 × 3 × 5.

ACTIVITY 3.17

(1) Complete the factor trees

(2) A remainder of 1 is left when you divide 61 by 2, 3, 4 and 5. What is the

lowest number that leaves a remainder of 1 when divided by all of the

numbers from 2 to 10?

Useful websites:

•• Subtraction using base 10 blocks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXCsEkMLWtY

•• Addition using base 10 blocks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0dAjSj6q64

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJxt-kSzfbo

•• Long division

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXQNeP6NN44

REFERENCES

Van de Walle, JA & Lovin, L. 2006. Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics. New York:

Pearson Education.

Van de Walle, JA. 2007. Elementary and middle school mathematics: teaching developmentally.

6th edition. New York: Pearson Education.

56

LEARNING UNIT 4 LEARNING UNIT 4

4 FRACTIONS

In the previous unit, you were introduced to whole numbers and their operation.

In this unit, the number system is expanded by exploring fractions, and their

representation and operation.

After working through this unit, you should be able to

•• model the representation of the fraction concepts

•• explain and use the fraction notation

•• describe and use the number line to represent fractions

•• explain and use equivalent fractions

•• describe and use operations on fractions

ACTIVITY 4.1

Reflect on how you dealt with working with fractions when you were still at school.

Explain in your own words what the difficulties with fractions might be.

Start with simple examples, involving halves. Learners first have to be able to

distinguish between “objects” and “non-objects” representing halves.

Let learners trace these shapes and fold along the dotted line.

•• Into how many parts is

each shape divided?

•• What do you notice when

you put one part on top

of the other?

•• Which shapes are divided

into two equal parts?

•• What name do we give to

each equal part?

NB: Do not use the fractional notation at this stage 1 .

Learners must say: “My whole is a ... (circle, rectangle, etc.). It is divided into

two equal parts. Each part is a half of the whole.”

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Which of these

are thirds of

the whole?

3

Learners must say: “My whole is a ... (circle, rectangle, etc.). It is divided into

three equal parts. Each part is a third of the whole.”

Here we are establishing the concept of a WHOLE being cut or divided into

three EQUAL parts. Each part is a third of the whole.

ACTIVITY 4.2

Draw three diagrams that can be used to show wholes that are divided into four

parts, but which do not all represent fourths.

See examples of models to use in the classroom at the end of this tutorial letter

(appendices).

The wholes for area models are continuous. That means they are not single pieces.

We usually use diagrams, clay and pattern blocks that can fit together or paper folding

for area models. The whole is “cut up” or partitioned into several equal-sized pieces.

Language pattern:

My whole is a circle. To find one-eighth of the whole, I divide it into eight parts of

equal size, and shade one part. The shaded part is one-eighth of the whole.

58

LEARNING UNIT 4: Fractions

The wholes for set models are discontinuous. That means that the whole consists

of several separate equal-sized pieces. Each piece makes up a part of the whole.

Examples of set models would be bottle tops, hard sweets or counters.

Language pattern:

My whole consists of 12 bottle tops. I divided them into three parts of equal size. Each

part is one-third of the whole. Each part has four bottle tops. So one-third of 12 is four.”

Length models differ from the above models because they relate to the number line.

Do not use the number line as a model too soon. We will use length models such

as paper strips and Cuisenaire rods.

The diagram below is called a fraction wall, and it is used to show how the whole

can be divided into equal parts.

In the teaching and learning of fractions, the fraction notation should always be

preceded by a solid understanding of the concept.

What does the fraction 1 mean?

3

how many parts the whole is divided. The The numerator counts.

bottom part is called the denominator.

The denominator tells what

•• The top part of the fraction tells us how many

is being counted.

of the parts we shade. The top part is called

the numerator.

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It is important for learners to still see the relation between a concrete example and

the notation. It is thus a good idea to still involve drawings, or concrete apparatus,

like bottle tops or clay, or paper.

Unit fractions are fractions with the numerator 1. It shows ONE part of the whole,

such as 1 , 1 , 1 .

3 4 6

Once learners have a thorough grasp of unit fractions, we can move on to non-unit

fractions, for example, 2 , 3 , 4 etc.

3 5 8

We go through the same processes as

before.

Example:

Shade 2 of the triangle

3

Language: My whole is an equilateral

triangle. To shade 2 of

3

the triangle, I divide the

triangle into 3 equal parts,

and shade 2 of these parts.

Examples

Shade 2 of the pentagon

5

The whole is divided into five equal parts. Each part is one-fifth

of the whole. Two parts are shaded. So two-fifths of the whole

is shaded.

5

2

In the fraction , what does the 5 mean? _________________ [the number of

5

parts into which the whole is divided]

of parts shaded]

60

LEARNING UNIT 4: Fractions

ACTIVITY 4.3

Shade the required parts of the given wholes.

5

What does the 4 mean? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

(2)

5

Shade of the whole

8

8

What does the 5 mean? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

5

Write down in words what you would do to shade of the whole.

8

Let us look at the number line from 0 to 1. (This is one unit.) The way in which we

demarcate (iterate) the number line, will tell us into what fraction parts the unit is

divided.

We will now practise placing fractions on the number line.

Examples:

Remember if we talk about 1 , we actually mean 1 of 1. So where is 1 on the

number line? 2 2 2

3 3

4 4 4

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ACTIVITY 4.4

(1) Into how many parts is this unit divided? Label each of the parts.

(2) Count in thirds (place your pencil on the numbers as you are counting)

1 3 7 10 15

3 3 3 3 3

1 3 7 8 10

4 4 4 4 4

1 3 7 8 10

(5) Then show the following on a number line:

5 5 5 5 5

ACTIVITY 4.5

Help the boys

Sipho has a piece of string that is exactly 2 m long. He wants to divide it equally

among three friends. What part of the string will each one receive?

3

Each friend receives 1 of 2 metres.

3

Each friend receives _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ of a metre.

Please study the section “Equivalent fractions” on pages 325 to 330 in your textbook.

The activity below will guide you in understanding the meaning of equivalence.

62

LEARNING UNIT 4: Fractions

ACTIVITY 4.6

(1)

6 3

What do you notice?

(2)

Farmer Bobo has 24 goats. He want Farmer Xomo has 24 goats. He want

2 4

to sell of his goats. So he put them to sell of his goats. So he put them

3 6

in 3 camps and choose the goats in in 6 camps and choose the goats in

two camps. four camps.

Complete the drawing. Complete the drawing.

3 6

The number line is used for the

This number line shows that the unit is divided action of counting. Here we count

into 6 parts. in halves and in sixths.

2 6

say that 1 = 3 .

2 6

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ACTIVITY 4.7

(1) Use a number line to illustrate the equivalence of 1 and 2 .

3 6

(2) Use the same number line to illustrate the equivalence of 2 and 4 .

3 6

(3) Use a number line to illustrate the equivalence of 3 6

and .

4 8

3 6 3 6

ACTIVITY 4.8

Fill in the missing numbers to make the fractions equivalent:

3 and [ ] 1 and [ ] 1 and 4 2 and [ ]

5 10 2 10 3 [] 3 12

By comparing fractions, we decide which part of the same whole is bigger or smaller

than another part. Remember that when you compare fractions, the whole must be

kept the same size.

The following activity will guide you towards an understanding of ordering fractions.

We will work with two types of fractions: ones with the numerators the same, and

ones with the denominators the same.

ACTIVITY 4.9

(1) Use the wholes given below and shade the given fraction parts. Then arrange

the fractions from big to small.

Same numerators:

2 2 2 2

3 4 5 6

Same denominators:

2 3 4

5 5 5

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LEARNING UNIT 4: Fractions

Examples

(1) Compare the following two fractions, using blocked paper. Which is bigger?

3 or 5 ?

4 8

Firstly you have to remember that you can only compare fractions if

they are parts of the same whole.

Choose a whole that can be divided in 4 as well as 8 equal parts. So we

will choose the whole to be 8 blocks.

3 > 5

4 8

Making use of equivalence: 3 = 6 6 > 5

4 8 8 8

(2) Compare the following two fractions, using blocked paper: 2 or 3 .

3 5

Choose a whole that can be divided into 3 as well as 5 equal parts. So the whole has

to consist of 15 blocks.

∴ 2 > 3

3 5

Making use of equivalence: 2 = 10 and 3 = 9 10 > 9 2 > 3

3 15 5 15 15 15 3 5

ACTIVITY 4.10

Draw up a worksheet to compare fractions. A set model has to be used.

SIMPLE ADDITION

Can you add the following?

1 + 1 = ?

3 3 ?

1 + 1 + 1 = ?

4 4 4 ?

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Stage 1

Illustrat:e 2 + 4

7 7

2 + 4 = 6

7 7 7

Stage 2

Illustrate: 1 + 1

3 6

Into how many parts must the whole be divided?

1 + 1

3 6

= + 1

2

6 6

= 3 or 1

6 2

Stage 3

Illustrate: 1 + 1

3 4

Into how many parts must the whole be divided?

66

LEARNING UNIT 4: Fractions

1 + 1

3 4

= 4+ 3

12 12

= 7

12

ACTIVITY 4.11

Do the following examples on quad paper:

(1) 1 + 4 (2) 1 + 3

5 5 5 10

(3) 1 + 1 (4) 1 + 2 (5) 1 + 5

3 2 3 5 4 6

Stage 1

Illustrate: 7 – 3

10 10

10 10 10

Stage 2

Illustrate: 7 – 2 (One fraction must be altered.)

10 5

Into how many parts must the whole be divided?

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7 – 2

10 5

= 7 – 4

10 5

= 3

10

Stage 3

Illustrate: 3 – 1 (Both fractions must be altered.)

5 2

Into how many parts must the whole be divided?

3 – 1

5 2

= 6 – 5

10 10

= 1

10

A mathematical explanation

What is 1 of 8? ______________________

2

What is 8 × 1 ? ______________________

2

The commutative property for multiplication: 3 × 4 = 4 × 3

1 of 8 is the same as 8 × 1 which is the same as 1 × 8

2 2 2

Therefore 1 of 8 = 1 × 8

2 2

68

LEARNING UNIT 4: Fractions

Princess invited her two friends to her house for a pizza. When

they arrived, they found that her brother had already eaten one-

quarter of the pizza.

What part of the pizza is left to share among the three of them?

3 4

Solution: Each girl will receive one-quarter of the original pizza.

Using drawings to illustrate the following (remember that the whole must be kept

the same if you want to compare the answers):

Is 1 of 1 the same as 1 of 1 ?

3 2 2 3

3 2

∴ 1 of 1 = 1

3 2 6

2 3

∴ 1 of 1 = 1

2 3 6

Can you multiply the following?

2 × 1 = ___

3

3 × 1 = ___

4

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Complete:

2 = + =2×

3 3 3 3

3 = 1 + 1 + 1 =3×

4

Solutions:

2 = 1 + 1 =2× 1

3 3 3 3

3 = 1 + 1 + 1 =3× 1

4 4 4 4 4

Pre-knowledge

•• multiplication of whole numbers

•• multiplication as repeated addition

•• commutative property for multiplication

•• the meaning of “of”

•• the notion of area

Stage 1

Illustrate: 4 × 2

3

Repeated addition

4× 2 = + + +

3

=

Solution:

4× 2 = 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8

3 3 3 3 3 3

Stage 2

Illustrate:

2 ×4

3

What does 2 × 4 mean? It is the same as 2 of 4.

3 3

Here they must understand the concept of “of”.

70

LEARNING UNIT 4: Fractions

Show 2 of 4

3

Shade 2 of 4 wholes.

3

What part is shaded?

Solution:

Stage 3

Fraction × fraction

Pre-knowledge:

•• the area of a rectangle

Illustrate: 1 of 1 Illustrate: 1 of 1

2 2 2 4

2 of 1 1 of 1

3 2 2 3

ACTIVITY 4.12

Use diagrams to show the following:

1

(1) A R5 coin is 2 cm wide. If you put seven R5 coins end to end, how long

2

would they be from beginning to end?

(2) You have 2 of a pumpkin pie left over from Sunday lunch. You want to give

3

1 of it to your sister. How much of the whole pumpkin pie would this be?

2

OPM1501/171

(3) Eric gave 2 of his money to his wife and spent 1 of the remainder. If he

5 2

had R300 left, how much money did he have at first?

(4) David spent 2 of his money on a storybook. The storybook cost R20. How

5

much money did he have at first?

(5) Penny had a bag of marbles. She gave one-third of them to Rebecca, and

then one-fourth of the remaining marbles to John. Penny then had 24 marbles

left in the bag. How many marbles were in the bag to start with?

We know that the formula for the area of

a rectangle is “length times breadth”.

2 3

illustrate this as follows:

other side into thirds. The shaded part is

one-sixth of the one-by-one square.

1 by 1

2 3

Solution: 1 × 1 = 1

2 3 6

If you have to multiply 1 × 2 , we can

2 3

illustrate this as follows:

other side into thirds. The shaded part is

two-sixths of the one-by-one square.

1 by 2 .

2 3

Solution: 1 × 2 = 2

2 3 6

Blocked paper makes it easier to use the area model.

(1) 3 × 4 (2)

5 × 6

8 3 3 5

72

LEARNING UNIT 4: Fractions

Solutions:

(1) 3 × 4

8 3

3 × 4 = 12 = 1

8 3 24 2

(2) 5 × 6

3 5

5 × 6 = 30 = 2

3 5 15

Teachers should work with concrete apparatus (manipulatives) and drawings

extensively before involving learners with the algorithm.

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3 × 4 = 12 = 1 and 5 × 6 = 30 = 2

8 3 24 2 3 5 15

Can you see what happened?

ACTIVITY 4.13

Use the multiplication algorithm to find the product of

(1) 1 × 2

2 3

(2) 15 × 2

3

(3) 1

1 ×8

2

(4) 3 × 11

4 2

74

LEARNING UNIT 5 LEARNING UNIT 5

5 NUMERIC AND GEOMETRIC PATTERNS

In the previous two units you were shown how to facilitate the operation of numbers,

including decimal and common fractions, for mathematics learners. In this unit, we

develop your understanding on these number by identifying, describing, completing

and, extending the representation of numeric and geometric patterns in different

forms.

After working through this unit you should be able to

patterns

•• explain and extend numeric and geometric patterns using relationships or rules

•• represent numeric and geometric patterns in tables

•• describe observed numeric representations or identified numeric and/or geometric

relationships using general rules

•• determine input values, output values and rules for numeric patterns and

relationships using flow diagrams and tables

A pattern consists a set of numbers or objects in which all the members are related to

one another by a specific rule or some form of sameness or regularity. The regularity

or sameness of the items or terms in a pattern makes it possible for you predict the

succeeding one(s).

ACTIVITY 5.1

(1) Based on the above definition, can you think of an example from your own

environment that you would regard as a pattern?

(2) Would you consider counting as a pattern? If so, indicate why, and if not,

indicate why not?

solving skills. You can use a pattern to generalise what you see into a broader solution

to a problem.

Beadwork (see figures 3.1 & 3.2) in the AmaZulu tradition relates, in some way, to

courtship and marriage. According to Twala (1951), beadwork also helps to regulate

behaviour between individuals of the opposite gender. This exclusively feminine

craft has an intuitive fluency found only in inspired forms of poetry and visual art.

Although the bead-workers may be unware of a “system” such as that imposed upon

language by spelling rules and grammar, the Zulu crafters, who are usually women,

accept the following fundamentals:

OPM1501/175

avoiding the discomfort of direct initial discourse on the sensitive subject of

personal relations.

•• Men wear beadwork to show involvement with the women they may marry

(incestuous implications preclude beaded gifts from mothers, sisters and daughters).

•• Beadwork symbolism is encoded within a limited number of colours and geometric

figures.

•• Colour symbols have alternative values but those assigned to geometric figures

are constant.

•• Values assigned to colours are in groups of positive and negative alternatives,

except for white, which has no negative connotation.

•• Symbolic coding is influenced by a number of factors such as

–– the combination and arrangement of colours

–– the use and nature of an object

–– the deliberate breaking of rules by which these factors operate

ACTIVITY 5.2

Use the above figures to identify as many patterns as possible that you are able

to recognise.

One of the easiest examples of a numeric pattern is counting numbers. Finding a

succession of numbers in counting is informed by the rule of ADDING ONE to the

preceding the number in order to obtain the succeeding number (or SUBTRACTING

ONE from the succeeding number to obtain the preceding number). To generate

a number pattern, all you need to do is to work with (i.e. add, subtract, multiply or

divide) a particular (same) number or a particular pattern to obtain the succeeding

or preceding number in a sequence. A sequence refers to three or more numbers or

objects in consecutive (following one another) order. A set of numbers in a given

order is called a number sequence. The numbers in a sequence are called the terms

of the sequence. Terms that follow one another are said to be consecutive. Since

not all sets of numbers may be regarded as a number sequence, you are expected to

determine which sets of number are sequences and which ones are not.

76

LEARNING UNIT 5: Numeric and geometric patterns

To identify number patterns in a sequence, you need to use a minimum of three

adjacent numbers. For example, a number succeeding the terms 2 and 4 may be 6 or

8 for multiples of 2 or powers of 2 respectively. Since predictability is an important

aspect of patterns and sequences, the uncertainty created by using only two numbers

to determine the term that follows the terms 2 and 4 may result in you drawing an

incorrect conclusion.

The table 5.1 provides examples of a set numbers that are patterns and those that

are not.

TABLE 5.1

4; 6, 9; 12; ….. Not a pattern

4; 8; 12; 16; 20; ….. Pattern

4; 8; 14; 22; 32; …. Pattern

4; 8; 3; 9; 2; 10; 1; … Pattern

4; 8; 16; 24; …. Not a pattern

ACTIVITY 5.3

Complete the following by indicating whether number sets are patterns or not:

TABLE 5.2

5; 10; 20; 40; ….

5; 10; 13; 16; 19; ….

5; 10; 17; 26; …..

5; 10; 15; 25; …..

You may be able to describe how you decide whether a set of numbers is a pattern

or not, as shown in the following table:

TABLE 5.3

Pattern

Number set or not a Description

pattern

4; 6, 9; 12; ….. Not a pattern The first term (4) is not a multiple of

three like others. Can you think of

another description?

OPM1501/177

Pattern

Number set or not a Description

pattern

4; 8; 14; 22; 32; …. Pattern Successive multiples of 2, starting with

4 are added to consecutive numbers.

4; 8; 3; 9; 2; 10; 1; … Pattern

4; 8; 16; 24; …. Not a pattern

ACTIVITY 5.4

Complete the table below by describing how you decided whether the set of

numbers in the preceding tables is a pattern or not:

4; 8; 12; 16; 20; ….. Pattern

4; 8; 3; 9; 2; 10; 1; … Pattern

4; 8; 16; 24; …. Not a pattern

5; 10; 20; 40; ….

5; 10; 13; 16; 19; ….

5; 10; 17; 26; …..

5; 10; 15; 25; …..

Remember how patterns are associated with the rule in section 3.1. The following

are activities that will help you to determine the given patterns.

(1) 1 + 2 = 3

4+5+6=7+8

________________________________________

________________________________________

(2) 1 x 1 = 1

11 x 11 = 121

78

LEARNING UNIT 5: Numeric and geometric patterns

Continue with this pattern until you multiply 111 111 111 by 111 111 111

10989 x 9 = 98 901

_______________________________________

_______________________________________

1 = _____

3+5 = _____

7 + 9 + 11 = _____

13 + 15 + 17 + 19 = _____

21 + 23 + 25 + 27 + 29 = _____

31 + 33 + 35 + 37 + 39 + 41 = _____

99 x 11 = 1 089

99 x 22 =

99 x 33 =

99 x 44 =

99 x 55 =

99 x 66 =

99 x 77 =

99 x 88 =

99 x 99 =

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Repeatedly fold a triangle through one of it vertices. Count the total number

of triangles after each fold.

Number of folds 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 10

Number of triangles

Can you see the pattern evolving in the number of triangles? Do you recognise

these numbers? They are _____________________ numbers.

ACTIVITY 5.5

(1) Refer to section 5.1 and identify the rule for all the patterns in activity 5.4

above.

(2) Complete the table below by providing the pattern rule:

1

(3) Refer to the table in activity 5.4 to complete the table below. An example

is provided for pattern 1.

1 T1 = 22 = 22 + 0 T1 = 22 + 0 x 10

T2 = 32 = 22 + 10 T2 = 22 + 1 x 10

T3 = 42 = 22 + 10 + 10 T3 = 22 + 2 x 10

T4 = 52 = 22 + 10 + 10 + 10 T4 = 22 + 3 x 10

T 7 = 22 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 = ? T 7 = 22 + ? x 10

80

LEARNING UNIT 5: Numeric and geometric patterns

2 T1 = __________________________ T1 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T2 = __________________________ T2 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T3 = __________________________ T3 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T4 = __________________________ T4 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T8 = __________________________ T8 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

3 T1 = __________________________ T1 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T2 = __________________________ T2 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T3 = __________________________ T3 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T4 = __________________________ T4 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

4 T1 = __________________________ T1 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T2 = __________________________ T2 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T3 = __________________________ T3 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

T4 = __________________________ T4 = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

PASCAL’S TRIANGLE

Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) was a French scientist who was interested in mathematics

from an early age. Although this number pattern is named after Pascal, the Chinese

printed it in about 1300 AD.

ACTIVITY 5.6

(1) Use words to describe Pascal’s triangle?

(2) What would be the sum (represented as a power of 2) of the 20th row of

Pascal’s triangle?

(3) Let (n) represent the row number and (Sn) the sum of the number(s) in the

row(s). Complete the following table:

1

2

3

4

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5

6

10

Algebraic statement:

Sn = _ _ _ _ _

(1) Describe the following patterns (numbered A – I) in words:

(2) Explain why the use of diagrams is necessary for developing number patterns?

Activity

The following example indicates these relationships. Use matches to build the

following patterns:

This sequence shows the relationship between the pattern number and the number

of matches used to build the pattern.

Number of matches (m) 4 7

Activity

Growing patterns can be represented geometrically and numerically. Study the

following growing patterns:

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LEARNING UNIT 5: Numeric and geometric patterns

•• Present the sequences in table form.

Number “A” is done as an example:

Next pattern in row:

Frame 1 2 3 4 5

(number of picture)

Number of objects (the objects that are used to 1 3 6 10 15

make the pattern: in “A” it is cubes)

•• What type of numbers are these?

(3) Given the following growing geometric pattern of squares, complete the fol-

lowing activities:

(b) What is the relationship of the number of shaded squares between successive

figures?

(c) Is there a relationship between the shaded squares and the perimeter of each

square? Elaborate.

(d) Use the table below to determine the number of the shaded (small) squares:

Number of figure 1 2 3 4 5

Number of shaded squares

(e) If the small squares are used as square units to measure the area for each

figure, use the table below to indicate the area of each figure:

Number of figure 1 2 3 4 5

Area of figure

(f) If the small squares are used as square units to measure the area for each figure,

use the table below to determine the area of the unshaded part of each figure:

Number of figure 1 2 3 4 5

Area of unshaded part

(g) What is the relationship between the shaded and unshaded parts of each figure?

(h) Use the table below to show the relationship between the shaded and unshaded

parts of each figure:

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Number of figure 1 2 3 4 5

Number of shaded squares

(i) What would be the answer in the second row of each of the tables above for

the 10th figure? Indicate how you would determine your answer in each case.

Pedagogy:

•• What kind of errors would one expect learners to make when doing each of

these activities?

•• Indicate how you could mediate the errors identified above.

ACTIVITY 5.7

(1) Study the following patterns and then extend them by drawing in the next

two stages.

p p p

p p p p p

p p p p p p

1 2 3

l

l l l l

l l l l l l l l l

1 2 3

•• What type of numbers are these?

•• Use the following to show different representations of square numbers

Square grid

Isometric dotty paper

Square dotty paper

(2) Study the following number pattern and then complete the table that follows:

1234

84

LEARNING UNIT 5: Numeric and geometric patterns

Stage 1 2 3 4 5 8 15 20 100

Number of dots 1 6 15 28

•• Investigate a general rule that generates the above pattern. What type of

numbers are these?

Number patterns may be generated using flow diagrams. A flow diagram is a diagram

that visually displays interrelated information such as steps in a process or function

in an organised fashion (e.g. sequentially or chronologically). It consists of input

(number) on one end and output (number) on the other end with a function machine

(rule) in the middle, as shown the following example:

figures in a row

A flow diagram is just another way to show how numbers are related. Let us look

how we can show the relation between the numbers in the table in a flow diagram.

The OUTPUT is the number of blocks in the figure.

It is important to note that when given two of the three (input, output and rule) you

can determine the missing one.

OPM1501/185

Example

In this example, you have to reverse the rule to obtain the input from an output value.

ACTIVITY 5.8

(1) Determine the missing inputs and outputs:

•• What type of numbers are these?

(3) Alexandra, the oldest township in South Africa, is also known as Dark City

and is home to thousands of residents who commute within the township

using taxis nicknamed “Amaphele” (Cockroaches). The Amaphele probably

based their name on the high number of these modes of transport and the

fact that they drive to all parts of the township. The fare for using Amaphele

is R7 for each trip per person. The taxi can take up to a maximum of seven

passengers per trip.

86

LEARNING UNIT 5: Numeric and geometric patterns

passengers and the fares? Use a flow diagram to represent the

relationship.

(b) What is the relationship between the full loads of the Amaphele and

the fares collected by the driver? Use a flow diagram to represent

the relationship.

Project

Find an example of an artefact from two different cultures in South Africa and

use them to determine the geometric and numeric patterns in them using as many

representations of the pattern as possible.

0–4 5–8 9–12 13–16 17–20

No or At least one of Both artefacts Meets level Meets level 4

inappropriate the artefacts chosen are 3 and more and all possible

artefacts is appropriate appropriate and than one representations

chosen and and at least one their patterns representation of the patterns

no or incorrect of the patterns are correctly of the patterns are used.

patterns presented is presented. is used.

presented. correct.

REFERENCES

Gildenhuys, DG & Paulsen, R. 1991. Mathematics in action. Pretoria: Kagiso.

https://www.youcubed.org/resources/what-is-number-sense/

https://www.youcubed.org/resources/jo-teaching-visual-dot-card-number-talk/

https://www.learner.org/teacherslab/math/patterns/number.html

OPM1501/187

Meserve, BE & Sobel, MA. 1964. Introduction to mathematics. 4th edition. Upper Saddle

River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Miller, CD & Heeren, VE. 1978. Mathematical ideas. 3rd edition. Glenview, IL: Scott,

Foresman.

Mottershead, L. 1978. Sources of mathematical discovery. Oxford: Blackwell.

Sobel, MA & Maletsky, EM. 1975. Teaching mathematics: a sourcebook of aids, activities and

strategies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Twala, RG. 1951 Beads as regulating the social life of the Zulu and Swazi, African

Studies, 10:3, 113-123, DOI: 10.1080/00020185108706847.

88

LEARNING UNIT 6 LEARNING UNIT 6

6 SPACE AND SHAPE

After working through this unit you should be able to

•• describe and represent flats shapes

•• describe and represent polygons, including triangles and quadrilaterals and their

properties

•• describe and represent space shapes

•• describe and represent polyhedrons, including prisms and pyramids and their

properties

•• describe and represent nets of polyhedra

•• describe and represent different views of geometric objects

Geometry is possibly one of the most neglected topics in schools. However, it is one

of the most interesting topics, which can be made easily understandable to learners,

provided they have the proper material to work with. In this unit, we use different

types of materials. We also give this unit a theoretical underpinning, because teachers

need to understand how learners learn geometry, and why it is important to follow

a definite line of development and sequence when teaching the concepts of shapes

to young learners.

Let us look at the different geometric shapes we see in our daily lives.

What is a plane?

•• Space shapes

–– Space shapes are objects that protrude in space (they “stand up” or “stick out”

they “take up space”). Most of the shapes we see in our daily lives are space

shapes. You as a person are a space shape.

•• Flat shapes (we also call them plane shapes)

–– Flat shapes are shapes that lie flat. You can put a flat shape flat on a desk, and

it will not stick up in space.

ACTIVITY 6.1

Which of the following objects are space shapes, and which are flat shapes?

•• a telephone

•• a page in your textbook

•• a soccer ball

•• a stop sign

OPM1501/189

For us to understand the way learners think about shapes, we examine research that

was done years ago by Van Hiele. In 1957, Dutch educators Dina van Hiele-Geldof

and Pierre van Hiele proposed that a learner’s understanding of geometrical concepts

develops through five distinct levels.

These levels are important for us to understand, because they influence the way in

which we teach “shape” to learners.

Level 0: visualisation

Level 1: description/analysis

Level 2: abstract/relational/informal deduction

Level 3: formal deduction and proof/deduction

Level 4: rigour

In primary school, as teachers, we hope that learners will achieve level 1, but they

seldom move to level 2. Note that a learner cannot be taught level 1 information

before he or she has achieved level 0. Learners will simply not be able to make the

connections if they have not had proper teaching at level 0.

Let us look at the first three levels, 0, 1 and 2. Although we might be teaching the

intermediate phase, it will be useful to test your learners to decide on which level

they find themselves.

LEVEL 0: VISUALISATION

Level 0 deals with “what shapes look like”.

Learners recognise and name figures according to their visual characteristics. They

will say the following: “This is a square because it looks like a square”.

Example:

Point out the square(s):

If you place a square in a different position, learners might see the square as a

diamond, and no longer as a square.

Learners identify and reason about shapes and other geometric configurations based

on shapes as visual wholes rather than on geometric properties. Some properties of

the shapes are included in this level, such as right angles, parallel sides, but only in

an informal manner.

LEVEL 1: DESCRIPTION/ANALYSIS

Learners recognise and characterise shapes by their properties.

For example, they can identify a rectangle as a shape with opposite sides parallel

and four right angles.

90

LEARNING UNIT 6: Space and shape

When learners investigate a certain shape they come to know the specific properties

of that figure. For example, they will realise that the sides of a square are equal and

that the diagonals are equal. Learners discover the properties of a figure but see

them in isolation and as having no connection with each other.

Learners at this level still do not see relationships between classes of shapes (e.g. all

rectangles are parallelograms), and they tend to name all properties they know to

describe a class, instead of a sufficient set.

Learners are able to form abstract definitions and distinguish between necessary and

sufficient sets of conditions for a class of shapes, recognising that some properties

imply others. When learners reason about and compare the properties of a figure

they realise that there are relationships between them.

•• a specific figure

•• different figures

•• Each thought level has its own language, grammar and symbols.

•• The subject matter that is implicit at one level becomes explicit at the next level.

•• Memorising is at “no level”.

•• Learners pass through the levels in order, without skipping any of them.

•• Not all learners progress through the levels at the same rate.

•• Learners reasoning at one level will not understand the explanations or be able

to answer the questions posed at a higher level.

•• Movement from the first level (visual) to the second level (descriptive) implies

the movement from a level without any relational network (visual) to one with a

relational network (descriptive).

•• At the visual level, the learner uses language. The function of this is mainly to

give the object or situation a name. This can be regarded as social knowledge

that the learner acquires. The learner is not in a position to elaborate on any

functions of the object that is called by the specific name. For example, the learner

will call a rhombus by its name at this level merely because of the overall visual

appearance of the shape. He or she will not be able to defend this decision of

calling it a rhombus through any logical reasoning where the properties of the

rhombus are required.

•• One of the main differences between reasoning at a visual level and that at a

descriptive level lies in the difference in judgement the learner makes. Learning

at the visual level relies mainly on an intuitive understanding of the object or

situation. That is why the learner does not see the need to reason about what is

experienced. He or she will not see the need to reason about the relationships

between a rhombus and a square. The learner is so strongly bound by the intuitive

knowledge that he or she will argue that a square is also a rhombus.

OPM1501/191

•• The reasoning that takes place at the third level (abstract relational) relies quite

heavily on the structure of the descriptive level. The judgement that the learner is

making does not rely on the fact that there are links between the relation networks,

but on the relationship between these links.

•• The different thought levels have a hierarchical development. This implies that

thinking at the descriptive level is not possible unless the visual thought level has

been well established.

A teacher in the intermediate and/or senior phase, you should take special note of

the descriptors of level 0, level 1 and level 2. That will give you an idea of the types

of learning activities in which your learners should be involved. Levels 4 and 5

descriptors are not applicable to learners in the above-mentioned two phases.

The first activity that young learners should engage in will involve level 0 of the Van

Hiele levels of geometric thought.

Each group of learners will receive a box with a variety of shapes, carefully chosen

so that each group has the correct variety of shapes to classify them according to

the teacher’s request.

In this activity, learners will sort the shapes according to what they SEE. There are

not really correct or wrong answers, because learners might visualise the shapes

differently. What is important is that they should be able to explain to the group or

the teacher, why they classify a particular shape in the way they do.

learner in your class should have at least one opportunity to bring a shape to the

front of the class, where the teacher can stick the shape on the blackboard using

Prestik (adhesive).

The following are examples of the variety of shapes that can be used:

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LEARNING UNIT 6: Space and shape

ACTIVITY 6.2

This is an exercise for level 0 learners.

Classify the shapes above according to the following criteria:

(2) three sides

(3) four sides

(4) opposite sides “go the same way” (parallelograms)

(5) shapes with “dents” (concave)

6.4 POLYGONS

A polygon is a closed plane (flat) shape made up of line segments. These line segments

must touch only once at their endpoints.

ACTIVITY 6.3

Which of the following are polygons?

Learners should be able to identify, classify and sort. This should be done before

teaching them the names of the shapes.

A polygon with

•• three sides is a triangle

•• four sides is a quadrilateral

•• five sides is a pentagon

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•• seven sides is a heptagon The affix “gon” means “sides”. So a

•• eight sides is an octagon decagon is a polygon with 10 sides.

•• nine sides is a nonagon

•• 10 sides is a decagon

•• 12 sides is a dodecagon

•• 20 sides is a icosagon

•• many sides is a polygon

A polygon is a two-dimensional shape with sides made up from line segments. They

are simple, closed curves.

ACTIVITY 6.4

Classify the shapes as polygons or non-polygons.

6.5 TRIANGLES

Learners should be able to recognise, classify and sort.

Which of these are triangles?

ACTIVITY 6.5

Draw the following triangles:

(2) an acute scale triangle

(3) an obtuse scale triangle

(4) an obtuse isosceles triangle

(5) an equilateral triangle

(6) a right-angled scalene triangle

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LEARNING UNIT 6: Space and shape

6.6 QUADRILATERALS

Learners should be able to recognise, classify and sort.

Which of these are quadrilaterals?

ACTIVITY 6.6

Explain and draw an example of each of the following concepts:

Explanation Drawing

Line segment

Parallel lines

Equal sides

Diagonals

Perpendicular diagonals

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Explanation Drawing

Right angles

Opposite sides

Opposite angles

Bisecting diagonals

Bisecting angles

Adjacent sides

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LEARNING UNIT 6: Space and shape

The minimum set of properties that will identify a quadrilateral is indicated below.

•• parallelogram: two pairs of opposite sides parallel

•• rhombus: all sides equal

•• rectangle: all angles equal

•• kite: two pairs of adjacent sides equal

•• square: all sides and angles equal

Properties

Quadrilateral

Sides Angles Diagonals

Trapezium One pair of

opposite sides

parallel

Parallelogram Both pairs of Opposite angles Diagonals bisect

opposite sides equal each other

parallel

Rhombus All sides equal Opposite angles Diagonals

equal bisect angles

and each other

perpendicularly

Rectangle Opposite sides All angles equal Diagonals are

equal equal

Kite Two pairs of One pair of One diagonal

adjacent sides opposite angles bisects angles

equal equal and the other

perpendicularly

Square All sides equal All angles equal Diagonals

bisect angles,

are equal and

bisect each other

perpendicularly

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ACTIVITY 6.7

Name and draw the quadrilaterals below according to the description. Do not

assume properties that are not given.

(2) opposite sides parallel

(3) opposite angles equal

(4) all angles equal

(5) all angles and all sides equal

(6) diagonals bisect each other

(7) diagonals bisect angles

(8) diagonals bisecting each other perpendicularly

(9) one diagonal bisecting the other perpendicularly

(10) all sides equal

ACTIVITY 6.8

Which of the following statements are true, and which are false? If false, draw a

diagram to illustrate your answer.

(2) All parallelograms are rectangles.

(3) All rhombi are parallelograms.

(4) All parallelograms are rhombi.

(5) All kites are squares.

(6) All squares are kites.

(7) All squares are rhombi.

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LEARNING UNIT 6: Space and shape

A space shape protrudes in space. A space is also called a 3D object or solid.

Examples of space shapes

Learners should be able to identify, classify and sort. This should be done before

the names of the shapes are taught.

ACTIVITY 6.9

Classify the following (draw one example of each):

(2) shapes that have triangles

(3) shapes in which all the faces are rectangles

(4) shapes that have a “point”

(5) shapes with parallel faces

(6) make up four more categories

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A figure that is not a plane figure, is a space figure. Space figures “take up space”.

They have

•• edges – where the faces meet (they are all straight lines)

•• vertices – where the edges meet (they are all points)

A polyhedron is a three-dimensional (3D) object, whose faces are polygons.

the same prefixes as for polygons, but the names end in the word “hedron”

(penta-, hexa-, hepta-, octa-, nona-, deca-, dodeca-, icosa-, poly-). For instance,

a polyhedron with six faces is called a hexahedron.

The smallest number of faces a polyhedron can have is ______. This is called

a tetrahedron.

ACTIVITY 6.10

Write down the definition of a polyhedron.

ACTIVITY 6.11

Classify the following as polyhedra or non-polyhedra:

•• edges (where the faces meet)

•• vertices (where the edges meet)

Prisms

A prism is a polyhedron with two parallel, identical bases. The lateral faces are

parallelograms. In a RIGHT prism, the lateral faces are rectangles.

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LEARNING UNIT 6: Space and shape

ACTIVITY 6.12

When is a polyhedron a prism?

It must have _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

ACTIVITY 6.13

What is the BASE of each object?

A is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ prism.

B is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ prism.

C is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ prism.

D is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ prism.

E is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ prism.

Pyramids

A pyramid has BASE and all the other faces are triangles. The vertices of all the

triangles meet in one point, which is called the apex.

ACTIVITY 6.14

A is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ pyramid (also called a tetrahedron).

B is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ pyramid.

C is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ pyramid.

D is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ pyramid.

E is called a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ pyramid.

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In summary

ACTIVITY 6.15

Complete the naming of the polyhedra. Where the names are given, draw the

polyhedron.

Name according to base

number of faces

(2)

(3)

A cube

(4) An octahedron

(make TWO drawings)

(6) A pentahedron

(make TWO drawings)

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LEARNING UNIT 6: Space and shape

There are only five regular polyhedra. Plato made this discovery, which is why they

are called Platonic solids.

Tetrahedron (all faces Hexahedron (all faces Octahedron (all faces are

are equilateral triangles) are squares) equilateral triangles)

are regular triangles)

_ _ _ _ _ faces _ _ _ _ _ faces

Always use a ruler when you draw shapes with edges or faces that are polygons.

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A net is a fold-out (flat) shape that can be folded up into a space shape. We can also

make nets for other space shapes that are not polyhedra.

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LEARNING UNIT 6: Space and shape

ACTIVITY 6.16

Draw the nets of the following polyhedra:

(2) a square pyramid

(3) a tetrahedron

(4) an octahedron (two different nets)

Learners often find it difficult to draw three-dimensional objects. They tend to draw

a square for a cube, or a triangle for a cone (see section 5.6 in this tutorial letter). They

also need to develop the ability to draw or recognise views from different directions.

be to use real cubes and allow learners to

draw the cubes from different perspectives.

Allow learners to look at a cube from top,

bottom, left, right, etc. Show them that

when you look at the cube from the corner,

you actually see three faces, but they do

not all look like squares.

Example

Draw the front, side and top views of the stack of cubes.

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ACTIVITY 6.17

(1) Draw the front, side and top views of the following structures:

What is the greatest number of cube units in the

solid?

above.

(3) Draw a solid with the following front, side and top views:

106

LEARNING UNIT 7 LEARNING UNIT 7

7 TRANSFORMATION GEOMETRY

In the previous unit, you learnt about the properties of two- and three-dimensional

shapes. In this unit, these shapes will be described in terms of their movement and

image.

After working through this unit you should be able to

•• represent translations of two-dimensional figures on grid paper

•• reflect and represent a two-dimensional figure in a line of symmetry

•• rotate and represent a two-dimensional figure around a point

•• describe the composition of transformations

•• demonstrate how transformations can be applied in a range of familiar and new

contexts

7.1 INTRODUCTION

Transformation geometry is an important aspect of mathematics and forms the

cornerstone of the field. Transformation geometry lays the foundation for analytical

geometry in the Further Education and Training (FET) band. Simpler ways of

learning and teaching transformations are presented, and the knowledge you gain

will enhance your thinking and understating of some challenging sections in the

mathematics curriculum.

ACTIVITY 7.1

Write a short paragraph in the provided space on your experiences in the learning

of transformation geometry. What can you remember?

..................................................................................................................................................

..................................................................................................................................................

..................................................................................................................................................

1 FEEDBACK

Activity 7.1 is an open-ended question. This question is important because it gives

you the chance to reflect on your understanding of transformation geometry and

share your experiences with us.

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ACTIVITY 7.2

What are your expectations in this unit? List them.

We trust that your expectations reflect what we hope you will achieve in this unit.

Engaging with the activities in this unit will enable you to

•• transfer your mathematical knowledge and skills between and within content

areas in mathematics

Geometric transformations involve taking a pre-image and transforming it in some

way to produce an image. There are two different categories of transformations,

which are described below.

The rigid transformation does not change the shape or size of the pre-image, while

the non-rigid transformation changes the size but not the shape of the pre-image.

Another word for rigid transformation is isometry. Examples of these kinds of

transformations are translations, reflections and rotation. Any transformation that

results in enlargement and reduction of shapes is not isometry.

unpacking the following important concepts:

•• on or to the other side of

•• over

•• across

•• through

ACTIVITY 7.3

Use each of the above words in a sentence to relate them to the teaching of

mathematics.

•• changing the form of appearance (non-isometric)

•• the study of the effect of movement on sets of points or shapes

The following figures will help you to introduce your learners to the words used

in transformation:

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LEARNING UNIT 7: Transformation geometry

TRANSLATION

in terms of direction and distance

REFLECTION

FIGURE 7.2: Flipping the toy. The movement is described in terms of the

line of reflection

ROTATION

FIGURE 7.3: Rotating the toy. The description of the movement is in terms

of the point of reflection, the angle of rotation and the direction

7.3 TRANSLATION

Translation means to change from one place or one condition to another, or to slide.

Let us look at the movement demonstrated by the vegetable below. The pre-image is

the original shape of the object and the final shape and position of the object under

transformation are called the image. In figure 7.3.1, A is called the pre-image and

the others are called images.

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Translation is a transformation that moves the object or figure in the same direction

and the same distance. Every point moves a distance in the same direction and

the shape moves in a straight line. The object and the image always have the same

orientation. It is also important to note that the pre-image and the image are the

same size and the movement produces congruent (the same in all respects) figures.

In describing the movements in figure 7.3.1, we could say the vegetable (pre-image)

has shifted (translated) from position A three units to the right to reach position B.

Similarly, the pre-image A has moved one unit down and two units to the right to

reach position D. Here translation occurs in a straight line.

the movement from F to B.

ACTIVITY 7.4

Illustrate by means of drawings how translation occurs in any item in your bathroom/

toilet/kitchen/office/classroom or any real-life situation. For this activity, use different

directions, which you can indicate by means of arrows.

CONSOLIDATION

Translation is a transformation that moves each point of a figure in the same direction

and the same distance. The shape is repeated in the same orientation. The object

and the image have the same size, area, angles and line lengths.

7.4 REFLECTION

Reflection means to give back an image of something or to mirror an image.

Write a paragraph to describe what you think of the picture below represents (your

discussion should be informed by your understanding of transformation).

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LEARNING UNIT 7: Transformation geometry

The aim of the above drawing is to help you to gain an understanding of the concept

of reflection in mathematics. The purpose of the mirror is to produce the image by

reflection. What you see in the mirror is exactly the reflection of the woman’s face.

The reflection of the mirror stares back at the woman. The face that appears in the

mirror is the image. The face of the woman is the pre-image.

Looking at the figures below, the line in between serves the same purpose as the

mirror and is called the mirror line or the line of reflection.

ACTIVITY 7.5

Take any piece of blank A4 paper. Fold the paper in such a way that the fold line

divides the paper into two equal halves. Use paint to draw any shape on one side

of the paper. Fold again along the fold li ne before the paint dries up. What do you

notice? Show the picture.

Fold the piece of A4 paper twice. Cut a pattern on the fold. Unfold and see your

magic picture. Show the picture.

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Looking at P1 and P2, these are the conclusions you can draw: If P2 is the image

of P1, then

•• P2 lies on the opposite side of the line of reflection SR

•• the distance from the original point (pre-image) to the line of reflection is the

same as the distance from the image point to the line of reflection

•• the line that connects the original point to its image point is always perpendicular

(⊥) to the line of reflection

The mirror line is called the line of symmetry/reflection symmetry because it has

to do with reflection, or the line that separates the picture into the pre-image and

image is called the line of symmetry.

Picture 1 Picture 2

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LEARNING UNIT 7: Transformation geometry

CONSOLIDATION

Looking at all the figures under reflection, they clearly indicate that to perform a

geometry reflection, we need to have a line of reflection. What is key to note also is

that the resulting orientation of the two figures (pre-image and image) is opposite.

This means that the direction of the image is different from the direction of the

object (i.e. the orientation changes). Corresponding parts of the figures are the same

distance from the line of reflection. Figures on each side of the line of symmetry are

congruent. The object (pre-image) and the image have the same shape.

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE: Seeing yourself in a mirror or a pond

7.5 ROTATION

A rotation is also an isometric transformation: the original figure (pre-image) and

the image are congruent. To perform a geometric rotation, we first need to know

the point of rotation, the angle of rotation (e.g. 900, 450 etc.) and the direction (either

clockwise or counter-clockwise).

The face of an old man is rotated anti-clockwise at an angle of 670. A is the pre-

image, B is the image and P is the point of rotation

ACTIVITY 7.6

Look at the drawing below.

(1) Describe, in words, how figure A is transformed into figure B and how figure

D is transformed into figure C. You may use tracing paper to assist you

here. (Hint: It is important to specify the direction and the angle of rotation.)

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(2) Take any school textbook, find a problem on rotation, and briefly describe

how you could explain the concept to your learners.

............................................................................................................................

............................................................................................................................

............................................................................................................................

CONSOLIDATION

It is important to note that

•• the centre of rotation should be fixed

•• points on the pre-image and on the image are equidistant from the centre or

rotation

•• the pre-image and the image have the same area and shape

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES: Moving a clock arm, opening the door of your

office or moving the handle of a door

A composition of transformations is a combination of two or more transformations,

each performed on the previous image. A composition of reflections over parallel

lines has the same effect as a translation (twice the distance between the parallel lines).

Figure 7.4: shows the combination of transformations.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

FIGURE 7.4: Combination of transformations

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LEARNING UNIT 7: Transformation geometry

ACTIVITY 7.7

Investigate what happens when you reflect an object over intersecting lines

(a combination of reflections).

2 FEEDBACK

A combination of the reflection over an intersecting line is the same as rotation

(twice the measure of the angles formed by the lines).

ACTIVITY 7.8

What combination of transformations is illustrated below?

S

R

ACTIVITY 7.9

Use the South African flag to illustrate a combination of transformations.

“Valuing indigenous knowledge systems: acknowledging the rich history and heritage

of this country (South Africa) as important contributors to nurturing the values

contained in the Constitution” (Department of Basic Education 2011:5).

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The figure below represents one of the Ndebele houses in South Africa.

(2) Write two problems in which the ideas of transformation geometry could be

used. Show how you would use the ideas to solve the problems.

https://youtu.be/VJTxv-tRKj0

In a translation, an object is moved by a particular amount in a specific direction in

order to obtain its image.

In a reflection, every point on the object is the same perpendicular distance from

a fixed line as the corresponding point on the image. The fixed line is called the

mirror line or the line of symmetry.

In a rotation, the angle between every point and its image, taken at the centre of

rotation, is the same for each point and its image, and a point and its image are the

same distance from the centre of rotation.

SELF-ASSESSMENT

ACTIVITY 7.10

(1) Describe the key concepts in transformation geometry. Use illustrations/

drawings or examples to support your argument in each case.

............................................................................................................................

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LEARNING UNIT 7: Transformation geometry

(2) List as many situations as you can in which you have seen transformed

shapes and explain with illustrations the kind of transformation in each case.

(3) Think of any situation in your everyday life in which you can experience

transformation geometry. Illustrate your answers.

(4) Design an activity for Grade 5 learners that will help to them to recognise

and design their own patterns using transformation geometry.

ACTIVITY 7.11

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES ON TRANSFORMATION USING GEOGEBRA

STEP1

www.geogebra.org/download

STEP 3: Click on “GeoGebra 10 Lessons”

STEP 4: Work through lesson 5 on page 17 on transformation geometry.

REFLECTION

Let us now refer back to the learning outcomes that we set at the beginning of this

unit.

(1) Have you achieved the learning outcomes? Give reasons for your answer.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

(2) Which of the learning outcomes have not been addressed to your satisfaction?

Give reasons for your answer.

______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

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______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

(3) Use the space below to note down any matters that you feel should have been

addressed in this unit.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

REFERENCES

Department of Basic Education. 2011. Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement

Intermediate Phase Grades 4–6 Mathematics. Pretoria: Government Printing Works.

118

LEARNING UNIT 8 LEARNING UNIT 8

8 MEASUREMENT

In the previous unit, you learnt about developing an understanding of the basic

elements of transformation geometry. In transformation geometry, you were expected

to demonstrate the ability to do the following: translations of two-dimensional figures

on grid paper; perform translations of two-dimensional figures on grid paper; reflect

a two-dimensional figure in a line of symmetry; and rotate a two-dimensional figure

around a point.

After working through this unit you should be able to

•• describe the role of estimation

•• explain non-standard and standard units

•• demonstrate an understanding of measurement content: the length concept, area

concept, volume concept, mass concept, time concept and temperature concept

•• explain the conservation and reversibility of length, area, mass and volume

The purpose of the learning outcomes outlined above is to guide and inform you

towards gaining an understanding of measurement concepts, after you have worked

through this unit. In addition, you should be able to measure the content that you

have understood in measurement and demonstrate the ability to respond to activities,

assignments and examination.

Measurement plays a fundamental role in our daily lives. People tend to think that

measurement is a simple concept, but it needs one to concentrate more to have a

sound understand of what it is, and how and why measurement is important. Without

measurement we would not know how to take the temperature of a human being

using a thermometer, estimate how long a learner would take to walk to school,

determine the height of a child, measure out the correct quantity of medicine for a

patient, calculate the speed of a car on any national road, and find the weight, area

and volume of different materials we use in in everyday life. Measurement occurs

when we want to quantify certain physical objects around us. In other words, a

number is assigned to an attribute. An attribute is a characteristic that describes an

object (e.g. a person, thing, etc.). For example, Archimedes invented displacement by

weight to determine the density of a coin, showing whether or not it was pure gold.

•• We can use metres to measure the length a classroom and millimetres to measure

the thickness of a table.

•• We can measure the temperature of a human body by using a thermometer.

•• We use a speedometer to measure the speed of a vehicle.

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•• We use hours to measure the time it takes the driver of a motor car to travel from

his home to the city.

•• We use measurement to measure the ingredients for baking and cooking.

According to Van de Walle et al (2015:477), “… measurement is a number that

indicates a comparison between the attribute of the object (or situation or event) being

measured and the same attribute of a given unit of measure”. Attributes and units

are the two words that need to be explained to help clarify measurement concepts to

learners. For example, to measure a length, the comparison can be done by lining up

copies of the unit directly against the length being measured. Measurement means

that the attribute being measured is filled, matched or covered with a unit of measure

with the same attribute.

attribute of an object can be weight, volume, length, area, perimeter, etc.

•• Units are used to measure attributes and may include objects like string, tiles,

cups of water, etc.

•• Standard units are metre, grams, etc.

As a learner, you need to realise that the process of measuring is identical for any

attribute, whether length, area or volume is measured. In summary, you should

perform the following steps in order to measure something:

•• Select the unit that can be used to measure the selected attribute.

•• Compare the units by filling, covering or matching them with the attribute of

the object being measured.

Units are used to measure attributes. Both the attribute or number and units are

used for measurement. Firstly, for you to understand the different types of units,

you need to know the different attributes that are to be measured. One would never

say, for example, that the length of an object is 30 because it is meaningless – you

need to add, say, 30 units, 30 cm, 30 m or 30 km. In measurement, we work with

standard and non-standard units. Non-standard units are arbitrary units such as paper

clips, toothpicks, straws, square tiles, cubes, while standard units involve the use of

conventional units, that is, metric units such as metre, kilogram, and litre. You need

to demonstrate an understanding of the process of measuring any attribute, which

involves the following steps:

•• Choosing a unit. Bear in mind that the unit that should possess the same attribute

as the object or event being measured.

•• Comparing the same unit with that object being measured. Here you have

to indicate the number of units that are needed to cover or fill the object either

by counting or using a measurement tool (e.g. a ruler or a formula).

•• Repeating the number of units. Here you could measure the length of a straw,

for example, by using six paper clips, or you could say that the capacity of a bottle

is 500 ml. As noted earlier, measurement units involve standard and non-standard

units, which are briefly explained below.

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

In order to understand the meaning of non-standards units you need to be aware

of the relationship between the attributes being measured and their units. We

mentioned earlier that non-standard units involve arbitrary units such as paper clips,

straws, toothpicks, cubes, square tiles, etc. The use of non-standard units allows you

to focus directly on the attribute being measured (Van de Walle et al, 2015). You

could use square tiles, for example, to measure the area a room, which means that

you find the number of square tiles that can cover the surface or fit in the surface

without leaving a space.

A non-standard unit must possess the attribute it is to measure. Paper clips, straws

and toothpicks are non-standard units that would be appropriate to measure length,

while square tiles, square cards and square pattern blocks would be appropriate non-

standard units for measuring area. Table 8.1 lists materials that can be used as the

non-standard units that are investigated in primary schools.

TABLE 8.1

Materials used for non-standard units

(Ontario Education 2007:16)

Length and perimeter Toothpicks, straws, paper clips, Cuisenaire rods,

markers and blocks

Area Square tiles, pattern blocks, cards, sticky notes and

sheets of paper

Mass Metal washers, marbles and cubes

Capacity Cups, scoops and plastic containers

Time Steady hand claps, sand timers, pendulums and

metronomes

Note: You will have difficulty finding non-standard units for measuring temperature.

Instead, temperatures can be related to familiar objects such as “as cold as

ice”, “the sewing machine is as hot as fire”.

It essential for you to demonstrate an understanding of the process of measuring

objects using non-standard units. This will enable you to realise that different non-

standard units give different measurements, which means that you need standard

units. Familiarise yourself with standard measurement units to make estimates in

terms of these units and meaningfully interpret measures depicted with standard

units (Van de Walle et al, 2015).

Standard units of measurement can be organised around the following three broad

goals (Van de Walle et al, 2015:480–481).

•• Familiarity with the unit. As a learner, you should have an idea of the size

of commonly used unit and what attribute is measured. For example, knowing

approximately what one litre of water is.

•• Ability to select appropriate unit. You should be able to practise selecting

appropriate standard units and judging the level of precision.

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of units that are commonly used, such as those between millimetres, centimetres

and metres.

Standard units are conventional units of measure. Study table 8.2 below and fill in the

gaps to familiarise yourself with the attributes and their standard units of measure.

TABLE 8.2

Standard units of measurement

(1) Length/perimeter —————- Km

Metre ——————

Cm

—————-

millimetre ——————

(2) ——————- —————— m2

—————— cm2

(3) ——————- kilogram —————-

——————- g

(4) ——————— litre —————-

—————— ml

(5) ——————— —————— m3

—————— cm3

(6) ——————- —————— °C

—————— m

—————— s

You are exposed to standard units in everyday conversations at home and even when

you were at school. For example, the mathematics period took about an hour; and

the chalkboard is about two metres long. It is vital for you to learn standard units in

measurement, but these units are become clearer once you have learnt the measurable

attributes using non-standard units.

The metric system is a globally used system that students need to be familiar

with (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM] 2011). Council of

Chief State School Officers (CCSSO, 2010) introduce centimetres in Grade 2, with

further expectations for units such as metres, cubic centimetres, grams, kilograms

and litres. The metric system is created around powers of ten. The purpose of the

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

decimal point is to indicate the unit position as a powerful concept for doing metric

conversions. The International System of Units (SI) is used to measure standard units

of measurement. The standard unit of measuring length in the metric system is a

metre (m). Different units of length in the metric system are obtained by multiplying

a power of 10 times the base unit. Table 8.3 below indicates the prefixes, symbols

and multiplication factor for these units

TABLE 8.3

Metric system table

kilo k 1 000

hecto h 100

deca da 10

deci d 0,1

centi c 0,01

milli m 0,001

The metric prefixes, combined with the base unit metre, name different units of length.

kilometre km 1000 m

hectometre hm 100 m

decametre dam 10 m

metre m base unit

decimetre dm 0,1 m

centimetre cm 0,01 m

millimetre mm 0,001 m

The instruments used to measure a length depend on the distance being measured

(e.g. you cannot measure the distance between towns using a ruler) and the accuracy

required (e.g. to measure the thickness of a sheet of paper you will need a micrometre).

ACTIVITY 8.1

(1) Discuss the differences between standard and non-standard units.

(2) Design an activity that would enable you to demonstrate an understanding

of “non-standard units”.

(3) Design an activity that would enable you to demonstrate an understanding

of “standard units”.

3 FEEDBACK

You should demonstrate your answers by giving examples that show different

attributes that can be measured using non-standard and standard units. The

answers to (1) and (2) above should substantiated with drawings.

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For practice

(1) Express each of the following metric measures in metres:

(a) 5 km

(b) 14 cm

(c) 0,25 mm

(d) 1,25 mm

(2) Express each of the following in SI:

(a) 39 cm

(b) 21 mm

(c) 1,3 km

(d) 221 cm

Your learners should have a background on conservation and reversibility of length.

Most of the learners under the age of six are not yet ready to measure objects because

they are still not aware that the length of a stick or ruler is the same regardless of

its change in position. To prove that those learners are in a position to have an

understanding of conservation of length, give them an activity to engage in. For

example, give your learners two wooden sticks of equal length.

You may then change their position or distort their appearance and ask your learners

if the two wooden sticks are still the same in length.

The learners who agree that the two wooden sticks retain the same length in any

orientation have attained the conservation of length concept. The learners who have not

mastered conservation use one-dimensional perceptual judgement. For instance,

they will look at the endpoint of one stick, which is further away and will then say

that the second stick is longer. Piaget observed that the necessary concepts for the

length measurement are achieved on the average around eight years of age (Tutorial

Letter 501, MAE103L).

ACTIVITY 8.2

In the above example of wooden sticks, if some of your learners say that the first

stick is bigger than the second one:

(2) How can you assist these learners to attain the conservation of length

concept?

(3) Design an activity in which you use for length adjectives for learners in

the intermediate phase?

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

(4) Give an example of a task that involves comparisons of the length of rigid

bodies.

4 FEEDBACK

For learners to learn measurable attributes, they need to engage in activities that

require them to compare objects of the same length, such as the ones indicated

above. The learners who give the incorrect answer might be focusing on the

endpoint, and thus find that the second stick is longer than the first stick. In doing

the above activities, you should ask yourself what types of materials can be used,

written down or recorded. You should also be aware of the purpose of the activity,

that is, the mathematical ideas that the activity will develop.

The activity below will help learners to master the conservation concept regarding

the length of an object.

ACTIVITY 8.3

Take two pieces of string of the same length. Clearly show these to the learners.

Now put them next to each other like this:

5 FEEDBACK

Learners who state that the two pieces of string are the same, have mastered

the conservation concept regarding length, and are ready to proceed with the

length measurement. If those learners can explain that the lengths stay the same

irrespective of their orientation and that the distorted piece of string retains its

original appearance, then they have mastered the concept of reversibility.

Estimation refers to a mental picture that a person uses to make a measurement and

the visual information used to measure an object or perhaps make a comparison

without using any measuring instrument. Practical skills are used on a daily basis

for estimation. For example: Do you have enough sugar to make some cookies?

Will your car fit into the parking space? This helps learners to focus on the attribute

being measured and think about the unit that can be used. Think about how you

would estimate the area of a coffee table using playing cards as the unit. To respond

to this question, you have to think what area is and how the units can be placed

on the coffee table. For learners to understand measurement concepts, they should

start by making an estimate. This is true for both non-standard and standard units.

Van de Walle et al (2015:483) highlights the following three strategies for estimating

measurements that can be taught to learners.

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•• Develop and use benchmarks or referents for important units. Referents should be

something you can easily envision, such as the height of a child. Learners should

pay attention to the size of the unit in order to estimate properly.

•• Use “chunking” or subdivision. Windows, bulletin boards and the spaces between

them are regarded as chunks.

•• Iterate units. For length, area and volume, it is sometimes easy to mark off single

units mentally or physically.

ACTIVITY 8.4

(1) Identify attributes that can estimated in the two objects above.

(2) Explain how those attributes would be estimated.

6 FEEDBACK

The exercise requires you to show an understanding of how you can estimate the

sides of different objects and what instrument to use.

You have to acquire knowledge of various objects or events regarding their attributes

that can be measured. Measurable attributes are referred to as the quantifiable

characteristics of objects or events (Van de Walle et al, 2015). Bear in mind that some

objects or events have more than one attribute that can be measured. An ice-cream

cone, for example, can be used to illustrate objects or events that have more than

one attribute that can be measured.

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

Look at the ice-cream cone above and think about the attributes that can be measured.

This will reinforce your measurement vocabulary. This can be done by asking yourself

the following questions about what you observe about the ice-cream cone:

•• How much ice-cream would you need to fill the cone?

•• How cold is the ice-cream?

•• How high can you pile the ice-cream before it falls over?

•• If your ice-cream melts, how big will the puddle be?

•• Can your hand fit around the ice cream cone?

ACTIVITY 8.5

Explain in your own words what the author is referring to in the questions above.

This will help you to reinforce your measurement vocabulary.

Once you realise that an ice-cream cone is an object with different measurable

attributes, you will develop measurement vocabulary and be encouraged to use

appropriate mathematical language. Through the development of vocabulary when

using possible ways to measure an object or event, you will realise which measuring

units (whether standard or non-standard units) can be used to measure the various

attributes of objects or events. Length, capacity, volume, area and time are some of

the attributes that can be measured. If you do not know which attribute you have

to measure, this will be a source of difficulty in measurement. Van de Walle et al

(2015) provides examples of questions that are related to the measurement of objects

or events and these questions will enable you to identify the measurable attributes

associated with each kind of question.

TABLE 8.4

Questions relating to measurable attributes

How long/wide/high/deep/far is it? Length, width, height, depth and distance

What is the distance around it? Perimeter

What is the size of its surface? Area

What is its mass? Mass

How much does it hold? Capacity

How much space does it occupy? Volume

How cold/hot is it? Temperature

How long does it take? Time

After reading table 8.4 with understanding, you should be able to explain the

distinctions between different measurable attributes. Your vocabulary in measurement

will be developed and this will enable to realise when and where a particular attribute

will be measured. This vocabulary will also enable you to solve different problems

relating to the measurable attributes of different objects or events.

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ACTIVITY 8.6

attributes and then indicate the real attribute that is being measured.

7 FEEDBACK

In this activity, you have demonstrated that you can move away from everyday

language use of measurement to mathematical language use of measurement.

This activity should increase your vocabulary of measurement concepts.

In measurement concepts, we focus on the following content: length, area, volume

and mass. The purpose of learning this is to demonstrate an understanding on how

they are developed and applied in solving abstract and daily real-life problems.

Length is one of the easy attributes that you can learn in measurement. It is the first

attribute that you should learn to measure and will faciliate your understanding of

other attributes in measurement. The length of an object can tell you, for instance,

“how long the distance is from township A to township B” or “how high a marula

tree is”. The attribute of length is the distance between two points.

If you want to determine the distance between point A and point B, you need to

measure the length between the two points. The length of an object is measured by

selecting the unit that is linear and repeatedly matches that unit to the object (Van de

Walle et al, 2015). Van de Walle et al (2015:485) highlightscommon misconceptions

and difficulties learners might experience in learning about the length of objects.

Note the following:

•• counting hash marks rather than spaces (units)

•• not aligning two objects when comparing them

The following are the specific terms used to measure the length of objects in relation

to particular concepts:

•• Width is the distance from one side of the object to the other side.

•• Height is the distance from the lowest point to the highest point of an object or

person.

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

•• Depth is the distance from the top of something to its bottom, from front to

back, or from the outside in.

•• Distance is the amount of space between two points.

You can express the length of an object by using the following adjectives: long/short,

thick/thin, high/low, deep/shallow, far/near, wide/narrow, etc. According to Van de Walle

et al (2015), comparison is the first step in developing a sound understanding of

the length concept. A sound knowledge of comparing the length of objects can be

reinforced by using different objects of different lengths such as pens, pencils, rods,

sticks, etc., and asking the learners to hold them simultaneously and thus identify

the long and short ones.

An area is the measure of two-dimensional space within a closed shape. Young learners

develop area concept by using a variety of materials to cover shapes. As with the length

concept, learners should first understand the attribute of area before measuring. The

area concept is developed as the covering of space through various activities in which

their areas are compared (Malati, 1999). For you to have a sound knowledge of the

area concept, you should demonstrate an understanding of perimeter of an object.

The perimeter of an object is referred to the length of the boundary of a shape or

the distance around a shape.

The main point here is for you to understand the meaning of the perimeter of

a prism before you can be introduced to the generalised procedure for actually

finding the perimeter of a prism. You have to demonstrate that the perimeter of a

prism is a measure of the length of each side, and adding the sides of those lengths.

For example, you can use straws to measure the sides of the rectangle above to

determine its perimeter. It is necessary to learn about perimeters before learning the

area concept, because the concepts of area and perimeter are widely used daily and

often confusing topics when it comes to studying them as part of the mathematics

curriculum in school (Watson, Jones & Pratt, 2013). The following are some of the

challenges learners face when learning about perimeter and area:

•• Learners may see area and perimeter purely as an application of formulae without

understanding what these two concepts mean.

•• They sometimes mix up the concepts of area and perimeter.

•• They have difficulty developing an understanding of dimensions. They do not

understand that perimeter is a length, which is one-dimensional and measured

in metres, centimetres or inches, while area is measured in squares with bases

of certain length – hence it involves two-dimensional units such as m2 (metres

squared or square metres).

OPM1501/1129

•• They may not link their everyday experiences and intuitive understanding of area

and perimeter to what they learn in the mathematics classroom.

Once you have mastered the perimeter of objects, you will be ready to learn the area

concept, which is the space bounded within closed prism(s) or shape(s). You should

be able to demonstrate an understanding of area of different shapes before measuring

the spaces of those shapes. You should be able to think of an approach that can be

used to measure the area of shapes before using the formulae. An example of the

area of an object is provided below, without measuring the space of the shape.

The space that is bounded in the region above is called the area of a rectangle. Your

learners should know that the surface of an object should be covered without gaps

in between or overlays. To demonstrate an understanding of area concept, you must

use concrete materials such as square tiles or grid paper. With your guidance, learners

should learn how to construct different shapes on grid paper, and those grids will

provide a way to measure the area using counting squares to determine the area.

Start with rectangle prisms for learners to be able to count the squares in order to

determine the area.

ACTIVITY 8.7

(1) Use grid paper and draw four rectangles that have different sizes and sides.

Measure the perimeter and the area of each rectangle using squares on the

grid paper (each side of the rectangle must be in whole units).

(2) Study the figure below and use the counting square method to determine

the perimeter and area of the diagram in the grid. The idea for using the

counting squares is to enable you to develop the formulae that can be used

to calculate the area and perimeter of a rectangle.

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

Explain step by step, how you arrived at your answer to determine the area

and perimeter of the figure in the grid paper.

(3) Design another activity using a different shape to demonstrate an

understanding of calculating the area and perimeter using counting squares.

8 FEEDBACK

This activity requires you to demonstrate an understanding of calculating the

area and perimeter using squares. In addition, the activity will help you realise

the difference between the area and perimeter of prims.

The use of counting squares or other concrete materials will enable you to

generalise about ways to find the area and perimeter of a rectangle. You can do

this by multiplying the number of squares in a column by the number of squares

in a row, which will ultimately give you the formulae to calculate the two attributes.

TAKE-HOME ACTIVITY

Ask your learners to construct three shapes that have

•• the same perimeter but different areas

9 FEEDBACK

Pay attention to the units of the measurements used. For example, perimeter is

measured in units and area is measured in square units.

Area is the amount of surface covered by a shape. To test for conservation of area,

show the learner two postcards that are exactly the same. They have the same

area. Let the learners satisfy themselves that both postcards have the same area.

Now take one of the postcards and cut it into two parts (second display). Ask the

learner if the two areas covered are still the same, or if they cover different areas.

You could then further distort the one postcard by cutting it up into a few pieces

(third display). Then ask again if the two displays still cover the same area.

OPM1501/1131

The volume concept is referred to as the amount of space an object occupies or

takes up. Sometimes you may be asked questions such as “What is the capacity of

the box?” or “How much can the box hold?” or “How much liquid can the bottle

hold?” You may confuse the two attributes because they sound similar, but the two

attributes are not always the same. For example, think of the volume of the box

containing a pair of shoes. It is important for you to have an understanding of the

two attributes to avoid confusing them. Volume and capacity measure the size the

size of three-dimensional regions and are topics starting from the Grade 5, with

continuing emphasis in Grades 6 to 8, according to Common Core State Standard

(CCSSO 2010, cited in Van de Walle et al, 2015). Capacity is generally used as the

amount that the container can hold (Van de Walle et al, 2015). Standard units for

measuring capacity are gallons, litres, millilitres. According to Van de Walle et al

(2015), volume can be referred to as the capacity of a container, but is also used for

the space occupied by three-dimensional objects. For the purpose of this unit, you

will learn more about volume. Standard units used to measure volume are cubic units,

cubic inches, cubic centimetres, etc. The most popular method to teach volume and

formula for a rectangular prism is to build rectangular structures using small cubes.

The flat surfaces of a geometric solid are called faces. The lines formed when two

faces meet are called edges, and the points where the edges meet are called vertices.

The Rubiks speed cube below is a rectangular structure built using small cubes

by combining three layers to form the large cubical array.

Because the rectangular prism above (Rubiks speed cube) consists of three layers,

the total number of cubes is 27. The rectangular prism has eight vertices, six faces,

12 edges and a base shape of a square. Other objects with this shape are a box, a

dice and an ice cube.

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

ACTIVITY 8.8

Design an activity that you can use to teach intermediate phase learners how to

develop the formula for the volume of a rectangular prism. You can use concrete

materials such as cubes for this activity. Allow your learners to record their findings

for each step in order to generate a rule that can be used to calculate the volume

of a rectangular prism.

understand the volume concept. The formula used to calculate the volume of a

cylinder is V = πr2h. It is important to note that although the formula is a handy

tool to calculate the volume of a cylinder, it is not the point of departure when

teaching measurement.

ACTIVITY 8.9

Most learners know how to calculate the volume of a cylinder using the formula

V = πr2h. How can you help them understand the formula to calculate the

volume of a cylinder? Demonstrate your answer by using concrete materials

to explain how to develop the formula.

ACTIVITY 8.10

Design an activity that will demonstrate an understanding the volume of irregular

objects such as stones, oranges, etc. Explain step by step, how you would perform

this kind of an experiment for the learners and list the resources you could use

for the same experiment.

Conservation of volume

Volume is the amount of space taken up. In testing for conservation of volume,

you could use balls of clay. Show the learners two balls of clay with the same

mass, and hence the same volume. Let the learners satisfy themselves that the

two clay balls have the same volume. You can use two glasses with the same

volume of water in them: the one long and thin, and the other short and fat. Ask

the learners which one contains more water?

Conservation of capacity

Capacity is the amount of space inside, or the ability of an item to hold something

if it is filled up to the brim. By now, you should have a good idea of the procedure

for testing for conservation. Ask your learners to design an activity that would

demonstrate an understanding of conservation of capacity.

Some learners have difficulty using suitable language to describe mass and weight,

especially learners in lower grades. The source of the problem is that the scientific

and mathematical meanings of the words are not the same as those used by many

people in everyday conversations (Suggate, Davis & Goulding 1998). The mass of

an object is defined as the amount of matter in the object, whereas the weight of an

OPM1501/1133

object is the force exerted on the object by gravity. The mass of an object is measured

in kilograms, while weight is measured in newtons. For learners to develop the

appropriate vocabulary relating to the weight of an object, they need to understand

the following degrees of comparison: heavy, heaviest, and heavier than, and light,

lightest and lighter than. The weight of an object may vary, depending on its location

in space, whereas the mass of an object remains constant in any space. For example,

the weight of an object is less on the moon than on earth, while the mass of an object

remains constant on earth and the moon.

ACTIVITY 8.11

(1) What misconceptions do learners have when dealing with mass and weight?

(2) How can you clarify those misconceptions for learners to understand the

two concepts?

10 FEEDBACK

The table below shows the different units that can be used to measure the

mass of an object.

Grains ×0.000 064 798 91

Ounces ×0.028 349 523 125

Ounces, troy ×0.031 103 476 8

Pounds ×0.453 592 37

Stones ×6.350 293 18

Tons (UK) ×1016.046 908 8

Tons(US) ×9070184 74

Tonnes ×1000

Comparison activities

The conceptual way to understand the comparison of the weight of objects is to

hold one object in each hand and stretch them, and further experience the relative

downward pull of each object (Van de Walle et al, 2015). This experience of the

weight of different objects can be transferred to one of the two types of scales,

namely balances and spring scales.

ACTIVITY 8.12

What is the difference between balances and spring scales? Explain how the two

scales are used to differentiate between the two concepts.

11 FEEDBACK

This needs you as a student to know what attributes are being measured by using

both balances and spring scales.

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

One of the very first quantities that people measured was time. Thousands of years

ago, people developed ways to determine the number of days in a year (Bassarear,

2005). The most important thing for you to understand is the word “time”.

ACTIVITY 8.13

What is time?

12 FEEDBACK

There are many reasons for individuals to understand the time concept, such

as wanting to know when to celebrate certain rituals, when to hunt and when

to plant and reap. We become aware of the “flow of time” when we observe the

succession of events. The passing of time can be divided up into three significant

times: sunrise, midday, sunset, as well as midnight.

The measurement of time involves determining of the number of periods that pass

during an event. Through the ages, a number of calendars were proposed. Over

3 000 ago, the Babylonians divided the day into 12 hours and the night into 12

hours. From the earliest periods, humans have used some form of measurement,

be it the seasons of the year or phases of the moon. However, the length of an

hour depended on the time of the year, in winter a day hour was shorter than a

night hour (Bassarear, 2005). Different types of devices to measure time were

invented, like candle clocks, water clocks and shadow clocks.

Jean Piaget investigated the concept formation of time by children (French, 1979,

cited in MAE103L Tutorial Letter 101). The experiment involves two events that

start and stop simultaneously. The duration is then discussed.

Event 1: T

he following diagram illustrates two cars travelling at different speeds,

but starting and stopping simultaneously.

Slow car:

start stop

start stop

Fast car:

start stop

OPM1501/1135

•• Did the cars stop at the same time?

•• Did the cars run for the same time, or did one car run for longer time than the

other?

Some of the responses were as follows:

•• The cars stop at the same time, but the faster car took longer.

•• The cars stop at the same time, and ran for the same time.

Event 2: Water is allowed to flow [at the same rate] into two glasses, one wide and

the other narrow. The flow starts simultaneously in each glass, and stops

the instant that the narrow glass is full.

QUESTIONS

•• Did the water start to run into the glasses at the same time?

•• Did the water stop running into the glasses at the same time?

•• Did the water take the same time to run into the two glasses?

Initial response

ACTIVITY 8.14

Discuss the different responses of the learners to the questions above.

13 FEEDBACK

•• Learners should be helped to acquire the vocabulary of time.

•• Learners should be taught the skill of “telling the time” on a clock, reading a

calendar and also reading and interpreting time on the 24-hour clock.

•• Learners should learn to estimate and measure the duration of a time interval

in seconds and minutes, and do calculations for longer intervals.

•• Learners should learn to read timetables, for example taxi, train or bus timetables.

ACTIVITY 8.15

The following table gives the times of arrival at different bus terminals of a city-

to-city bus travelling from Polokwane to Cape Town. The bus stays at each bus

terminal for one hour 20 minutes.

(2) What time does the bus depart from Mokopane?

(3) At what time will the bus leave the bus terminal at Bela-Bela?

(4) How long does the whole journey take?

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

When working with time, keep in mind that 60 minutes equals one hour. If it is 08:20,

the time after one hour 20 minutes will be 08 h + 20 min + 1 h + 20 min = 10:00.

In everyday life, temperature is a measure of how hot or cold an object is. A hot plate

on an electric stove is said to have a high temperature, whereas a frozen ice-cream is

said to have a low temperature. Many properties of matter change with temperature

(Giancoli, 1998). For example, most materials, but not all, appear to expand when

heated. Water in the range 0° to 4° C contracts with an increase in temperature.

The thermometer has been designed to measure temperature. There are many kinds

of thermometers, but their operations always depend on some properties of matter

that change with temperature (Giancoli, 1998). The first idea for a thermometer,

by Galileo, made use of expansion gas. Common thermometers today consist of a

hollow glass tube filled with mercury or with alcohol coloured with a red dye, as

were the earliest usable thermometer.

ACTIVITY 8.16

Explain how each thermometer functions:

(2) a bimetalic strip thermometer

(3) a resistance thermometer

In order to measure temperature quantitatively, some sort of numerical scale must

be defined. The most common scale today is the Celsius scale. In the USA, the

Fahrenheit scale is also common. One way to define a temperature scale is to assign

arbitrary values to two readily reproducible temperature. For both the Celsius and

Fahrenheit scales there, two points are chosen to be the freezing point and the

boiling point of water.

°C °F

Freezing point of water 0 32

Boiling point of water 100 212

On the Celsius scale, the freezing point of water is chosen to be 0° C (“zero degrees

Celsius”) and the boiling point 100° C. On the Fahrenheit scale, the freezing point

is defined as 32° C and the boiling point 212° C.

From the table we see that the Celsius scale has 100 division between the freezing

point and the boiling point of water, whereas the Fahrenheit scale has 180 divisions.

This means that the two scales are 100 to 180, or 5 to 9. Therefore, for every 5 degrees

on the Celsius scale, there is 9 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. For every 1 degree

on the Celsius scale there is 9 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale; and vice versa, for

5

every 1 degree on the Fahrenheit scale, there is 5 degrees on the Celsius scale. Using

9

this relationship, we are able to convert temperatures from one system to the other.

OPM1501/1137

The formula that describes this relation is C = 9 (F – 32). We will use this formula

5

to convert degrees on the Fahrenheit scale to degrees on the Celsius scale. To convert

degrees on the Celsius scale to degrees on Fahrenheit scale, we will use the following

formula: F = 9 C + 32.

5

ACTIVITY 8.17

(1) On a hot summer day in Phalaborwa it is 30 0 C. What is the temperature in 0F?

(2) The temperature of the human body should be 98.40 F. What is your normal

temperature in 0C?

(3) Does it ever happen that the temperature measured in Celsius degrees is

the same when it is measured in Fahrenheit degrees? If ever, when?

The Math Learning Center (2009) indicate that learners should learn about temperature

by comparing hot and cold objects. They should then be given the opportunity to

measure temperature using a thermometer (if you do not have one, use a picture of

one). Learners should be told that hot and cold are measured in degrees.

In the table below, degrees Celsius are the left column and degrees Fahrenheit in

the right column. Ask the learners to indicate the positions of each of the following:

A cold day

A cool day

A warm day

A hot day

Boiling point of water at sea level

Body temperature of a human being

Melting point of ice

Melting point of ice-cream

100 212

90 194

80 176

70 158

60 140

50 122

40 104

30 86

20 68

10 50

0 S 32

-10 14

-20 -4

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LEARNING UNIT 8: Measurement

temperature (adapted from MAE103L/TL501 2017).

8.8 CONCLUSION/SUMMARY

We have set a number of outcomes at the beginning of this study unit. To see whether

you have reached these outcomes, do the following self-assessment exercise.

Exercises

(1) What is meant by the statement, “All measurements are approximate?” What

experiences help learners to grasp this idea?

(2) What is meant by the statement, “Using measurements is arbitrary?” What

experiences would help learners reinforce this idea?

(3) Summarise some important things learners should be able to do if they are to

be regarded as skilful in measuring the length of a segment.

(4) Mr Madikiza has just finished building a new house. He measured the distance

around his yard and found that it was 90 metres.

(a) The fencing material costs R95,20 per metre. How much is the fencing

material going to cost him?

(b) If he needs to place a pole at 1.5 metres intervals along the fence, how

many poles will he have to buy?

(c) If the fencing poles cost R65 each, calculate the total costs of the poles

alone.

(d) Calculate the total cost of fencing for the yard.

(5) Suppose that paint costs R28 per litre and one litre covers approximately 9

square metres of surface. We are going to paint (on side only) 50 congruent

pieces of wood that are rectangular in shape, with a length of 60 centimetres

and a width of 30 centimetres. What would the approximate costs be?

(6) Which is higher, 10 F or 10 C?

(7) The thermometer that you have indicates a fever of 390 C. What would this

be in Fahrenheit?

(8) Room temperature is often taken to be 680 F. What is this on the Celsius scale?

(9) The temperature of the filament in a light bulb is about 1 8000 C. What would

this be on the Fahrenheit scale?

(10) 250 below zero on the Celsius scale is what Fahrenheit temperature? And 250

below zero on the Fahrenheit scale is what Celsius temperature?

(11) In an alcohol-in-glass thermometer, the alcohol column has length 10.70 cm at

0.0 0 C and length 22.85 cm at 100 0 C. What is the temperature if the column

has a length (a) 16.70 cm, and (b) 20.50 cm?

(12) At what temperature would the Fahrenheit and Celsius degrees yield the same

numerical value?

(13) Explain why it is advisable to add water to an overheated automobile engine

slowly, and only with the engine switched off.

REFERENCES

Bassarear, T. 2005. Mathematics for elementary school teachers. 9th edition. Houghton

Mifflin Company: New York.

CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers). 2010. Common core state standards.

Retrieved from http://corestandards.org.

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French, MM. 1979. Tutorials for Teachers in Training. Book 7. Size. Oxford University

Press. Cape Town.

Giancoli, DC. 1998. Physics: principles with applications. 5th edition. Prentice Hall: New

Jersey.

Malati. 1999. Mathematics learning and teaching initiatives. Geometry, Module 4:

Area teacher document. Open Society Foundation for South Africa.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. NCTM. 2011. Position statement on

intervention. Reston, VA: NCTM.

Ontario Education. 2007. A guide for effective instructions in Mathematics. Queen's

Printer for Ontario.

Suggate, J, Davis, A & Goulding, M. 1998. Mathematical knowledge for primary teachers.

Fulton publishers: Australia.

The Math Learning Center. 2009. Bridges in Mathematics: Kindergarten supplement. Oregen:

Macintosh Desktop Publishing system.

Van de Walle, JA, Karp, KS & Bay-Williams, JM. 2015. Elementary and Middle School

Mathematics. Teaching developmentally. 9th edition. Pearson: England.

Watson, A, Jones, K & Pratt, D. 2013. Key Ideas in Teaching Mathematics: Research-based

guidance for ages 9–19. Oxford University Press.

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LEARNING UNIT 9 LEARNING UNIT 9

9 STATISTICS OR DATA HANDLING

In this unit, we introduce you to the concept of statistics, of data handling, also

referred to as statistics, which is a branch of mathematics. Statistics involves the

collection, display and analysis of information. Usually the information is numerical

or it is changed into numerical form. Data handling is also concerned with collecting,

organising and interpreting data. Data refers to the complete set of individual pieces

of information that are used in any of the processes related to statistics. Data enables

you to collect information or facts from descriptions, values or measurements in

order to solve a problem or draw conclusions.

After working through this unit you should be able to

•• collect data

•• read information from data representations, such as bar graphs, pictograms

and measures of central tendency

•• demonstrate the ability to calculate and interpret the measures of central

tendency from basic data sets

Points to ponder!

What is data?

What is a datum?

How do statistics shape my everyday life?

Nowadays we are informed about what is happening in the world around us. Statistics

as sets of mathematical equations are used to update us on trends in the past, and

can be useful in predicting what may happen in the future. For example, trends can

be determined and predictions can be made in weather forecasts, medical studies,

genetics, stock markets, quality testing and so on.

Data collection can be from different sources using different methods, for example,

sources like documents, observations, survey and experiments. You can classify

collected data (i.e. words, pictures, numbers or a combination of words and numbers)

as either qualitative or quantitative.

example, describing a person’s appearance, a smell, taste, colour, etc. Observations,

but not measurement, constitute qualitative data.

OPM1501/1141

constitute numerical information – for example, weight, temperature, age, speed,

length, area, height, etc.

ACTIVITY 9.1

What type of data can you collect from the objects in figure 9.1? Complete the table

and classify the data as qualitative or quantitative for each set. For the quantitative

data, state whether it is discrete or continuous.

Source: Wireless Revolution Pictures (2016)

Qualitative Quantitative

Example/type of Example/type of Discrete/Continuous

qualitative data quantitative data

14 FEEDBACK

Activity 9.1 will help learners to collect data from a variety of contexts dealing

with social and environmental issues. It will also teach them how to pose their

own questions, and select the different sources and methods for collecting data.

Raw data, that is, unorganised data recorded on the spot, can be organised in diverse

ways – for example, tally charts, pictograms, bar graphs and pie charts. In this section,

we organise and interpret data.

•• A tally is a mark representing data items.

•• Tally marks are used to show how many items there are.

142

LEARNING UNIT 9: Statistics or data handling

= 1 item

= 2 items

= 3 items

= 4 items

= five items

•• These are lines grouped together in fives to make counting easier.

•• Show a tally of five lines using four vertical lines or strokes and one horizontal

line across the tally.

You can write the number eleven as:

11 = 5 + 5 + 1 = + +

ACTIVITY 9.2

Mark did a survey of each Grade 7’s favourite fruit. His survey yielded the following

results:

apple, pear, apple, mango, pineapple, orange, apple, melon, pear, apple, pineapple,

mango, mango, banana, melon, apple, pear, pineapple, melon, apple, pineapple,

pear, pear, apple, orange, mango, banana, pineapple, mango, mango, melon,

apple, mango, pineapple, banana, pear, pineapple, melon, apple, pineapple.

Use Mark’s data to complete the following table:

TABLE 9.1

15 FEEDBACK

Activity 9.2 is focused on organising and recording data using tally marks.

A bar chart or bar graph presents grouped data with rectangular bars with lengths

proportional to the values they represent. The bars can be plotted vertically or

horizontally. A vertical bar chart is sometimes called a line graph.

Example

A group of people were asked what their favourite fruit is. The following data was

recorded:

OPM1501/1143

TABLE 9.2

Apples 30

Bananas 10

Grapes 15

Strawberries 25

Vertical bar graph

Horizontal graph

ACTIVITY 9.3

A charity group donated bags of vegetables to an old-age home. The caretaker

used the following table to record the donated bags of vegetables:

TABLE 9.3

Green beans 8

Cabbage 5

144

LEARNING UNIT 9: Statistics or data handling

Onions 2

Potatoes 10

Pumpkins 6

TABLE 9.4

•• Heading: Vegetables collected

•• Vertical axis: Number of bags per vegetable

•• Horizontal axis: Items collected (names/types of vegetables)

•• Draw bars to show the number of items in each column.

16 FEEDBACK

Activity 9.3 should help you to assess the knowledge and skills of the learners

regarding the following:

•• where and how to label a bar graph, that is, writing the title of the graph

•• where and how to label to label the axes (axes titles)

•• how to place the bars

ACTIVITY 9.4

Examine the following bar graph and answer the questions that follow:

Bar graph 1

(2) Explain what the graph could be about (prediction).

(3) Write your story to match the graph (drawing conclusions after reading and

predicting).

(4) Add a title.

OPM1501/1145

17 FEEDBACK

Activity 7.4 focuses on reading the graph. The questions provided will help you

to guide learners on how to write a paragraph in order to summarise the data.

Furthermore, the data in the graph is used to make predictions and draw conclusions.

9.3.3 Pictograms

A pictogram, also called a pictograph, is an ideogram that coveys its meaning through

its pictorial resemblance to a physical object. A pictograph is a way of showing data

using pictures, where pictures stand for quantities. One picture can represent one

item or a number of items. A pictorial representation of statistics can be on a chart,

graph or computer screen. Pictographs were the earliest known form of writing,

and examples were discovered in Egypt and Mesopotamia from before 3 000 BC.

Examples of a pictograph

Fruit is sold in the school tuckshop. The pictograph (figures 9.2 and 9.3) shows the

number of apples sold each day of the week from Monday to Friday.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

NUMBER OF APPLES

DAYS

Use a pictograph (figure 9.3) to find the total number of apples sold from Monday

to Friday.

146

LEARNING UNIT 9: Statistics or data handling

ACTIVITY 9.5

Examine the information in the boxes below. Use the information provided to draw

your own pictograph.

A farmer has the following animals on his farm: 20 goats, 18 cows, 10 sheep

and 5 horses:

(1) Heading: Farm animals

(2) Vertical axis: Number of animals

(3) Horizontal axis: Animals at the farm

(4) Fill in these labels under the vertical columns (goat, sheep, cows and horses)

(5) Cut and paste the number of animals in each column (Hint: 1 creature

represents 5 creatures)

(1) Which animal is the most plentiful on the farm?

(2) Are there more sheep or goats?

(3) How many horses are there less than cows?

(4) How many sheep are there more than goats?

(5) What is the total number of animals found on the farm?

18 FEEDBACK

•• Constructing a pictograph in the above activity will show the guide learners

how to label a pictogram; how to label the axes (axes titles); how to place the

bars using pictures’ and how to represent a collective using one item.

•• The questions answered based on the pictogram will guide the learners on

how to read and interpret the pictogram.

A pie chart is a circular diagram used to present data. In a pie chart, data is displayed

using different size sectors of a circle in such a way that it resembles the slices of a

pie. A pie chart is appropriate to illustrate how the whole body of data should be

divided into different parts, and the portion that each part represents. We can write

portions in a pie chart as a fraction, a decimal and a percentage.

(1) Use a pair of compasses and draw a circle with centre O.

(2) The radii of the circle must be 3 cm.

(3) Draw radii AO and extend to draw OB (diameter AB).

(4) Draw radii CO and extend to OD (diameter CD) and CD is perpendicular

to AB.

(5) Your circle is now divided into four parts or sectors, with each sector equal

to 25%.

OPM1501/1147

(6) To divide the circle into 8 equal parts, draw radii from the centre O to the

circumference – that is, to the midpoints of arcs AC, AD, BD & BC. Label

the points E, F, G and & H. Each sector is equal to 12.5%

(7) Label each part or sector.

(8) Write a suitable title for your pie chart.

Example

Boys in Grade 5 were asked about their favourite sport. The total number of boys

who participated was 32. The data that was collected is presented in the table below.

TABLE 9.5

Number of

learners/ 4 16 4 8

frequency

148

LEARNING UNIT 9: Statistics or data handling

Display the data collected about the boys’ favourite sports by using a bar and a pie

chart.

Tennis: 4 × 100 = 12.5%

32

Rugby: 4 × 100 = 12.5%

32

Volleyball: 8 × 100 = 25%

32

16

Soccer: × 100 = 50%

32

ACTIVITY 9.6

A survey was conducted on 120 learners in Grade 8 to find out what their favourite

subject was at school. It was found that 30 preferred history, 40 preferred geography

and 50 preferred maths.

OPM1501/1149

(1) a table

(2) a bar chart

(3) a pie chart

19 FEEDBACK

The knowledge and skills conveyed in this activity are the representation of data on

a pie chart using fractions and percentages. You should also be able to compare

data represented in a pie chart and a bar graph.

Measures of central tendency (measures of centre or central location) of a set of data

are values about which the distribution of the data is roughly balanced. A measure

of central tendency describes the whole set of data with a single value that represents

the middle or centre of distribution. The three main measures of central tendency

are the mode, median and mean.

One of the simplest ways of explaining the concept of mean (average) is making a

set of numbers that are not the same to be equal to one another. For example, given

the set of 11 numbers viz. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, by reducing (subtracting)

from the larger numbers (on the right of 5) and adding whatever is subtracted to

smaller numbers (on the left of 5) as per the figure below, all the numbers will have

a value of 5. Therefore 5 is the average of the 11 numbers. Does this work for all

sets of numbers? Use a set of 7 different numbers to prove or disprove this.

The arithmetic mean of a set of data is the numerical value found by adding together

all the values of the data and dividing them by the number of pieces of data there

are (see the example in table 9.6). The arithmetic mean is taken to be the same as

the arithmetic average and is represented by the symbol x̄ (pronounced as x bar).

The median of a set of data is the numerical value of the piece of data in the middle of

the set when the data is arranged in ascending (increasing) or descending (decreasing)

order. The mean divides the distribution in half. In a data set where the total elements

of a set give an odd number, the median value is the middle value. For example, in

the data set, 21, 24, 27, 28, 28, the total elements in the set are five. Therefore, the

median value is 27.

When the total number of elements in a data set is even, the median value is the

mean of the two middle values. For example, in the data set, 21, 24, 27, 28, 28, 29,

the total elements in the set are six. Therefore, the median value is 27 + 28 = 27.5.

2

150

LEARNING UNIT 9: Statistics or data handling

A mode (modal value) of a set of data is the value that occurs most often. It occurs

more than the other values. For example, in the data set, 21, 24, 27, 28, 28, 29, 28 is

the modal value because it occurs two times more than other values.

TABLE 9.6

Example 1

Question

Find the mode, median and mean of the following values:

1; 5; 7; 3; 5; 9; 5; 8; 10

Answer

(1) Arrange in ascending (increasing order):

1; 3; 5; 5; 5; 7; 8; 9; 10

(2) Mode = 5

(3) Median = 5 (total number of elements is 9, which is odd). The middle number

therefore consists of only one number that is 5.

NB: I f the middle number consists of 2 numbers, and the total number of elements

in the data set is even, add the numbers and divide the sum by 2.

Example:

Find the median 1; 3; 5; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9

Median = 5 + 6

2

= 5.5

(4) Mean

= 1 + 3 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10

x 9

= 53

x 9

= 5,89 (rounded off to two decimals)

ACTIVITY 9.7

The ages of 13 patients in a male ward of a hospital on a certain night were as

follows:

25; 57; 72; 89; 56; 74; 33; 61; 67; 61; 91; 43; 78

(1) Regarding the data collected in the ward, find

(a) the mode (modal age)

(b) the median age

(c) the mean age of the patients

(2) What conclusions can you draw from the mode, median and mean ages in

this ward?

20 FEEDBACK

Activity 9.7 focuses on helping you to analyse data critically by answering questions

relating to the measures of central tendencies (i.e. the mean, median and mode).

OPM1501/1151

ACTIVITY 9.8

The heights (in centimetres) of Grade 9 learners were taken and recorded as follows:

171 165 109 170

173 176 140 178

150 170 162 151

(2) How many learners were involved?

(3) What is the modal height?

(4) What is the median of the heights?

(5) What is the mean of the heights of the learners?

(6) Identify extreme values of the data (i.e. the very small and the very big

values of the data).

(7) Delete one extreme value of the data and recalculate the mean of the data

to one decimal place. What do you notice about the original mean and the

new mean?

(8) Did the mode and the median change when you deleted the extreme value?

Give reasons for your answer.

21 FEEDBACK

After doing activity 9.8, learners should be able to report data by

data (the mean, median and mode).

•• outlining the role of extremes in the data.

Thus far, you have learnt the basics of data handling. You should now be confident

enough to present data handling content in the intermediate mathematics classroom.

Complete the following self-evaluation sheet to assess whether you have achieved

the outcomes for this unit.

SELF-ASSESSMENT

Tick the boxes to assess whether you have achieved the outcomes for this unit.

If you cannot tick the box, you should go back and work through the section or

sections that you still find challenging.

Tick

Criteria

(1) Collect data from different sources using different methods.

(2) Organise and represent information using a tally chart.

(3) Organise and represent information on a bar chart.

(4) Organise and represent information on a pictogram.

(5) Organise and represent information on a pie chart.

152

LEARNING UNIT 9: Statistics or data handling

(7) Read a graph/chart and summarise data.

(8) Use a graph to predict and draw conclusions.

REFERENCES

Department of Basic Education. 2017. Mathematics in English Grade 9: Book 2. 7th

edition. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.

Facer, M, Kruger, E & Pretorius, J. 2011. Headstart Mathematics Grade 4. Cape Town:

Oxford University Press.

Laridon, P, Barnes, H, Jawurek, A, Kitto, A, Pike, M, Myburg, M, Rhodes-Houghton,

R, Scheiber, J, Sigabi, M & Wilson, H. 2006. Classroom mathematics, Grade 11.

Sandton: Heinemann Publishers.

Statistical language. Measures of central tendency. 2013. Australian Bureau of

Statistics. Retrieved 3 August 2017, from http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/

a3121120.nsf/home/statistical+language+-+measures+of+central+tendency.

Statistics South Africa. 2011. Census @ school. Data handling, Grades 7, 8 & 9.

Wireless Revolution Pictures. 2016. The different types of cell phones. Retrieved

from https://www.google.com/.

OPM1501/1153

154

APPENDIX 1

OPM1501/1155

156

APPENDIX 1

OPM1501/1157

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/secondary/mathematics/assets/

pdf/literacyy7/s4placevalue2.pdf

158

APPENDIX 1

OPM1501/1159

160

APPENDIX 2

OPM1501/1161

162

APPENDIX 2

OPM1501/1163

How to use the shapes in the classroom?

Hand out shapes to the learners. Each learner must have at least one shape.

Each learner must show his or her shape and use the correct language pattern. Allow

learners to swop shapes and to repeat the language pattern with the new shape.

Learners have to know the correct vocabulary when dealing with fraction concepts.

They must say the following over and over, until they have mastered the correct

vocabulary.

Examples

My whole is a triangle.

My whole is divided into two equal parts.

(Now the learner has to show how the two equal parts fit into the triangle.)

Each part is one half of my whole.

So two halves make one whole

164

APPENDIX 2

My whole is a square.

My whole is divided into four equal parts.

(Now the learner has to show how the four equal parts fit into the square.)

Each part is one-quarter (or one-fourth) of my whole.

So four-quarters make one whole.

My whole is a hexagon.

My whole is divided into three equal parts.

(Now the learner has to show how the three equal parts fit into the hexagon.)

Each part is one-third of my whole.

So three-thirds make one whole.

My whole is a circle.

My whole is divided into eight equal parts.

(Now the learner has to show how the eight equal parts fit into the circle.)

Each part is one-eighth of my whole.

So eight-eights make one whole.

My whole is a rectangle.

My whole is divided into six equal parts.

(Now the learner has to show how the six equal parts fit into the rectangle.)

Each part is one-sixth of my whole.

So six-sixths make one whole.

My whole is a pentagon.

My whole is divided into five equal parts.

(Now the learner has to show how the five equal parts fit into the pentagon.)

Each part is one-fifth of my whole.

So five-fifths make one whole.

•• two-thirds

•• three-fifths, etc.

When teaching fraction concepts, the teacher should refrain from using the symbolic

form of a fraction, such as 1 , 1 , etc. Learners should learn the correct pronunciation

3 5

of the fraction in WORDS, and not by saying “one over three” or “one over five”.

The role of the numerator and denominator must only be taught after the learners

understand the concept of a fraction.

In Grade 4, learners mainly deal with unit fractions (i.e. where the numerator is 1).

1

2 The “2” in the denominator tells you into how many parts the whole has been

divided. The “1” in the numerator tells you how many parts are shaded.

OPM1501/1165

2 1

6 = 3

2 4

5 = 10

4 2×2 2 2

10 = 2 × 5 = 1 × 5 = 5

166

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