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Supporting Latino First Graders' Ten-Structured Thinking in Urban Classrooms

Karen C. Fuson, Steven T. Smith, Ana Marie Lo Cicero 

December 1997, Volume 28, Issue 6, Page 738

Year-long classroom teaching experiments in two predominantly Latino low-socioeconomic-status (SES) urban classrooms (one English-speaking and one Spanish-speaking) sought to support first graders' thinking of 2-digit quantities as tens and ones. A model of a developmental sequence of conceptual structures for 2-digit numbers (the UDSSI triad model) is presented to describe children's thinking. By the end of the year, most of the children could accurately add and subtract 2-digit numbers that require trading (regrouping) by using drawings or objects and gave answers by using tens and ones on various tasks. Their performance was substantially above that reported in other studies for U.S. first graders of higher SES and for older U.S. children. Their responses looked more like those of East Asian children than of U.S. children in other studies.

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