Unformatted text preview: we do not correct them in first grade. There is no point in cor
recting first graders because their thought is not mobile enough to remember
the beginning of such an equation by the time they reach its end. Moreover,
children in our classes use writing for two purposes: to facilitate their own think
ing and to facilitate communication.
In solving a problem such as the one in One Gorilla cited earlier, our chil
dren often write “1 + 2 = 3 + 3 = 6 + 4 = 10 + 5 = 1 5 . . . . ” This is an example of
an equation used to facilitate one’s own thinking. Children keep track of their
work in this way and can use their writing to decide what to do next. They can
also go over their work when they think they may have made an error. Correct
ing this kind of equation would interfere with children’s thinking.
During a whole-class discussion, children volunteer to explain how they got
the answer in a variety of ways. When one child says, for example, “First, I added
1 and 2,” the teacher writes “1 + 2” on the board for two purposes related to
communication: to let the speaker know what she has understood, and to en
able the other members of the class to follow what the speaker is saying. The
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This document was uploaded on 03/13/2014.
- Spring '14