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Summary of Reference

Lamon, Susan J

The Development of Unitizing: Its Role in Children’s Partitioning Strategies

Bibliographic data:
Lamon, S. J. (1996). The Development of unitizing: Its role in children’s partitioning strategies. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 27 (2), 170-93.

This study is designed to gain a better understanding of the way that children use unitizing processes through partitioning activities, to define more clearly the relationships between the two processes and to connect children’s partitioning and unitizing strategies to given contexts.

A snapshot of partitioning strategies at each grade level, four through eight, allowed trends or stages that characterise the development of unitizing ability to be identified.

At each grade level a greater percentage of students used economical partitioning strategies than used less economical cut-and-distribute strategies, indicating a shift away from the distribution of singleton units towards the use of more composite units. The process is one that develops over time and with experience in varied contexts.

Partitioning has not been fully explored as a didactic activity for helping children to develop rational number ideas. This study strongly invites partitioning activities into the curriculum.