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Title:Kindergarten children's estimates of numerosity
Author(s):Gatzke, Mary R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Baroody, Arthur J.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Mathematics
Education, Early Childhood
Abstract:This study explored kindergarten children's ability to estimate the numerosity of sets of up to 40 objects on different types of estimation tasks. The contributions of specific mathematics skills hypothesized to be prerequisites for estimation were also investigated. Kindergarten children were highly successful with judging quantities to be more or less than the reference point of 10 on the referent-number estimation task. Adding a second reference point of 20 made the order-of-magnitude estimation task more difficult, especially for set sizes between the two reference points. Open-ended estimation, which offered no reference point, was definitely the most difficult type of estimation task with success rates sharply declining as set size increased. Less than half gave acceptable estimates (within 25% of the actual value) for quantities greater than 10. Measures of mathematical skills revealed that kindergarten children had a well developed number sense for quantities up to about 10 but beyond that their concepts of quantities and number relationships were still vague and imprecise. At the beginning of the kindergarten year, clear distinctions were not made between quantities in the teens and those in the twenties. All were lumped together as large numbers. By the end of the kindergarten year, children were progressing toward a clearer concept of these quantities but their mental number representations were still inexact. A general number sense, as measured by The Test of Early Mathematics Ability, was the best overall predictor of estimation ability for both open-ended and order-of-magnitude estimation. A ceiling effect due to high success rates on the referent-number estimation task repressed correlations between this task and the mathematics skill tasks. However, the skills of number comparisons and judging relative size were found to prerequisite skills for success in estimating. Competence in these two mathematics skills should precede estimation.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Gatzke, Mary R.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9010860
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9010860

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