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Counting Square Units Is Not Enough: Exploring Area Dynamically

December 4, 2017, 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Location Science Hall - 102 the Sokol Room
Posted InCollege of Science and Mathematics
Mathematical Sciences Seminar Colloquium

Madhavi Vishnubhotla and Debasmita Basu, Montclair State University


We explore a dynamic approach to the teaching and learning of area measurement, what we refer to as Dynamic Measurement (DYME). DYME engages students in dynamic experiences of generating 2D surfaces by iteratively composing lower-dimensional objects (two linear measures) through “sweeping.” Without relying on the common approach of counting square units, our goal was to engage students in contextually rich digital dynamic tasks to visualize area as a continuous quantity and evaluate the area of a rectangular region as a multiplicative relationship between the two lengths of the sides. In this presentation, we describe the tasks designed for developing students’ DYME reasoning as well as the forms of reasoning students developed as a result of their engagement with these tasks.