Questions On Common Mathematics Misconceptions Essay example

1745 Words Mar 15th, 2016 7 Pages
Common mathematics misconceptions:
1. Misunderstanding the order of subtraction, such as thinking that 3 – 8 = 5.
2. Misreading the scale on the ruler and beginning measuring at the number 1, rather than from 0.
How and why misconception 1 can arise with students:
In his book, Issues in Mathematics Teaching, Swan (2001) makes the argument that as students make common mistakes in mathematics in their early years of education, the way in which children think or initially approach a mathematical problem does not originate in the form of wrong thinking. Rather, it is more of a “generalisation” that students make in order to make sense of problems, which come from other informed conceptual understandings that are still in the developmental stage (Swan, 2001). Therefore students who are confident with the order of addition equations, may find the order of subtraction difficult to understand or may simply make an error in comprehending the order of numbers in an equation (Hansen, 2012). In addition equations, it does not matter what order the two numbers are being added are placed in, as long as they are calculated to find the end result, which is the answer. For example, 4 + 5 = 9. If we make 5 + 4 = 9, students can still comprehend the notion of addition by experiencing counting on and noticing that both the quantities of five and four will equate to nine. Students who are used to working like this may approach subtraction problems in the same way, although when…

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