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The number line as a teaching aid


The number line is often recommended as an aid for the teaching of whole number addition and subtraction. The possible stages in young children's use of the aid are described, as is their ultimate outgrowing of this aid.

Number line diagrams are also used in diagnostic and achievement test items to assess the understanding of whole number addition. This practice is discussed and criticised with the aid of the empirical findings of the second NAEP. Finally the wider role of number line diagrams in mathematics teaching is outlined.

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Ernest, P. The number line as a teaching aid. Educ Stud Math 16, 411–424 (1985).

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  • Young Child
  • Mathematics Teaching
  • Test Item
  • Empirical Finding
  • Number Line