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Elementary Students' Understanding of Geometrical Measurement in Three Dimensions

Kim, Eun Mi; Olah, Leslie Nabors
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
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Subject/Key Words:
Geometrical Measurement, Learning Progressions, Mathematics Tasks, Interviews, Elementary School Mathematics, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Elementary Education


In this study, we investigated the potential of a hypothesized geometrical measurement learning progression (LP) to examine students' thinking and understanding in this domain. We interviewed 30 third to fifth graders using 3 LP‐based cognitive tasks that asked the students to find the length, perimeter, area, surface area, and volume measurement of a given object. We analyzed the students' responses to the tasks to examine variation in levels of the students' geometrical measurement understanding and found evidence of understanding at 5 successive levels of a geometrical measurement LP in 1, 2, and 3 dimensions. From these findings, we concluded that an LP can be a practical tool for understanding students' existing thinking and understanding in a targeted domain and has the potential to support students' further learning in the domain.

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