A Case Study of”Taking Inventory: Children at work” from CD ROM of MITC Project
By: Ekasatya Aldila Afriansyah
Understanding quantity of numbers is not a simple thing for children. They need a long process to construct their thinking in counting. There are some steps to understand the numbers. First, children will tag or touch the object when they count. Second, children use their finger to point out the object one by one. After that, children use their visualization by looking the object only. Fourth, they use their imagination to describe the object without seeing the real object. The last, children construct the numbers in their mind without imagining the object – mental image.
Teacher has a great role to help the children at school to develop their understanding of organizing their counting. There are many ways constructing students’ thinking. Mostly, children work with their friends, we often see those children are sharing the ideas among them. In this case, Jodi Weisbart as a K-1 classroom teacher introduces the context of inventory. Jodi has a broader pedagogical and mathematical goal – to figure out the children strategies in solving problem, to make them working cooperatively with their partner, to work on their own level, to record the amount of the objects, and to make representation of the result.
B. Observational Question
How do the children organize their material?
C. Purpose of the Observation
The purpose of this observation is to figure out what is the result of the development of an understanding in number by influencing the students to construct their understanding about grouping.
D. Description of Activity
From the observation it can be found that children use different method to understand numbers. For example in snap cube table area, Donna organizes the cubes within same color in order to make counting becomes easy for him. However, Amanda organizes the cubes in grouping of ten so that she can count it easily and fast.
While in bookshelves area, Justin and Sierra count the amount of books separately between Clifford book and Arthur book. Accidently, they get the number of ten from the amount of one kind of books. It makes them easier to decide ´How many books are there´. Then Jodi asked them to make representation of it.
Meanwhile, in block area, Declan counts the block smoothly but without structuring in his working. After Jodi gives a help, Declan along with his friend can count with group of five (even though failed) and group of ten. But in the end, they confuse with the writing of 27th number. They make a conclusion that 7 is in the front of 2 and writing down 7 oppositely also. In paper bags table area, Isa and Eli are counting one by one in grouping of ten. Sharing idea is happened here when Isa has made a conclusion incorrectly, but Eli directly fixed it.
The observation leads into a conclusion that children can construct their understanding of numbers in different ways. They can construct a structuring idea to get the amount of the objects that they count. In some case from the CD, we can see different strategy such as counting ordering of ten, counting one by one in grouping of five or ten, and also packs of things that are filled by 10th number as a tenth.