A slanted look at straight lines

Sinny Mole

spooky-face The role that misconceptions play in the construction of mathematical ideas in students’ minds is an area that has received a great deal of attention. Teachers need to understand these misconceptions and correct them through appropriate measures. This aspect of a teacher’s responsibility is very important.

The purpose of this study is to examine the misconceptions of students’ comprehension of an apparently simple concept like (geometric) straight lines. Effort has been made to identify the area for correction and recommend effective strategies to help students modify their misconceptions.

Sample papers taken for this study were from grades 3, 4 and 5 mathematics ‘ASSET’ August’10 paper of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Vidyamandir (Jamnagar) students. Their score cards and answers of selected questions were collected for the study.

It is widely acknowledged that ‘ASSET’ provides very challenging problems and helps students build strong mathematical concepts and reasoning power.

Results and findings
One question each on “straight lines” was selected from each grade, namely 3, 4, and 5. All children attempted these questions. But, some of the primary class students answered wrongly. The observations and findings have been described below question-wise.

The author is a Mathematics teacher at K D Ambani Vidyamandir (Primary School), Reliance Greens, Jamnagar. She can be reached at sinny.mole@ril.com.

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