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Fifth Graders' Enumeration of Cubes in 3D Arrays: Conceptual Progress in an Inquiry-Based Classroom

Michael T. Battista 

July 1999, Volume 30, Issue 4, Page 417

Abstract:
In this study I utilize psychological and sociocultural components of a constructivist paradigm to provide a detailed analysis of how the cognitive constructions students make as they enumerate 3D arrays of cubes develop and change in an inquiry-based problem-centered mathematics classroom. I describe the classroom work of 3 pairs of 5th graders on an instructional activity involving predicting the number of cubes that fit in graphically depicted boxes, and I carefully explicate how the mental processes of abstraction, reflection, perturbation, spatial structuring, and coordination, along with face-to-face social interaction within pairs, brought about meaningful and powerful student learning.

Keywords:
Grade 5
Linking Research and Practice
3-D Shapes
Article
Conceptual Development
Teacher
Problems
Problem Solving / Problem Posing
Representation
Shapes