Primary students' success on the structured number line

Carmel M. Diezmann, Thomas Lowrie, Lindy A. Sugars

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    Number lines are part of our everyday life (e.g., thermometers, kitchen scales) and are frequently used in primary mathematics as instructional aids, in texts, and for assessment purposes on mathematics tests. There are two types of number lines; structured number lines, which are the focus of this paper, and empty number lines. Structured number lines represent mathematical information by the placement of marks on a horizontal or vertical line which has been marked into proportional segments(Figure 1). Empty number lines are blank lines which students can use for calculations (Figure 2) and are not discussed further here (see van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, 2008, on the role of empty number lines). In this article, we will focus on how students' knowledge of the structured number line develops and how they become successful users of this mathematical tool.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-28
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian Primary Mathematics Classroom
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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