Solving multiplication and division word problems: strategies used by Grade 6 learners

Ramaoka, Tumelo
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This study was aimed at exploring the models and strategies a class of Grade 6 learners used to solve multiplicative word problems prior to, and following, a series of four one-hour intervention lessons based on the literature on multiplicative reasoning using a Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) – based theoretical – framework. The sample of the study were a group of 36 learners from a fee-paying government school in Johannesburg East district that has been classified as a low performing school based on the Annual National Assessment (ANA) for Mathematics. Outcomes based on pre- and post-tests indicated substantial gains related to the content of the intervention lessons as learners were able to make better sense of multiplicative situations and use more efficient strategies to solve multiplicative situations. Pre-test data pointed out that learners struggled to make sense of multiplicative situations especially division items and used a limited range of models and strategies. Post-test data indicated that there were substantial shifts to using a broader range of multiplicative models and strategies including the emergent use of ratio models. This use of a broader range of models and strategies increased success in learners’ multiplicative problem-solving performance.
A research report submitted to the Wits School of Education, Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science (Science Education), Johannesburg, 2019
Ramaoka, Tumelo, 2019. Solving multiplication and division word problems :strategies used by grade 6 learners, University of the Witwatersrand,