Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 353–373 | Cite as

Strategy ranges: describing change in prospective elementary teachers’ approaches to mental computation of sums and differences

  • Ian WhitacreEmail author


This study investigated the sets of mental computation strategies used by prospective elementary teachers to compute sums and differences of whole numbers. In the context of an intervention designed to improve the number sense of prospective elementary teachers, participants were interviewed pre/post, and their mental computation strategies were analyzed. The analysis led to the identification of the strategy ranges used by the participants, as well as descriptions of changes pre/post in those strategy ranges. This article illustrates how strategy ranges, as an analytic tool, afford useful descriptions of the repertoires of mental computation strategies that individuals use.


Prospective elementary teachers Mental computation Flexibility Strategy ranges 



I am grateful to the editor and anonymous reviewers for their very thoughtful reading and helpful feedback. I thank Dr. Susan Nickerson for her efforts as the instructor of the course and for her mentorship. Finally, I thank the interview participants for their time and willingness to share their thinking.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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