Students' Experiences Composing and Decomposing Two-Dimensional Shapes in First and Second Grade Mathematics Classrooms

Drew Polly (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA), Trisha Hill (Kannapolis City Schools, USA), and Tabitha Vuljanic (Kannapolis City Schools, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 142
EISBN13: 9781466680920|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6497-5.ch006
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The composing and decomposing of geometric shapes is a building block in children's development of geometry and spatial reasoning. The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics focus and emphasize the need for students to build composite shapes from smaller shapes and break a geometric shape into smaller shapes. This chapter presents findings from an exploratory study that examined both teachers' and students' experiences working with shape puzzles. Inductive qualitative analysis of field notes and student work samples indicated that shape puzzles provided opportunities for students to develop a deeper understanding of spatial reasoning. In certain subgroups of students, the vocabulary terms related to students' work revealed a disconnection between students' work and their oral explanations of their processes. Implications for professional development and classroom implementation in light of the Common Core State Standards are shared.
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