Developing Year 5 Students' Understanding of Density: Implications for Mathematics Teaching
Clarke, D., Hilton, G., Dole, S. & Wright, T. (2009). Developing Year 5 Students' Understanding of Density: Implications for Mathematics Teaching. (1), Roberta Hunter, Brenda Bicknell, Tim Burgess. 153-160. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. Retrieved from http://www.merga.net.au/documents/Dole_RP09.pdf
Promoting the concept of density is regarded typically as the domain of science teachers. However, density as the relationship between an object’s mass and volume highlights the importance of foundational measurement concepts located in the mathematics curriculum. In this study, an integrated mathematics and science unit on density was developed for students in the middle years of schooling (Years 4-9) by the research team. Implementation of this unit in Year 5 classrooms is reported here. The lesson sequence appeared to support students’ capacity to use the language of density in meaningful contexts. Implications for teaching are drawn from the data.
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