Videatives Views #196 And That's 41 - Writing Numbers

Three four year old boys writing numbersBoden, Golden and Charlie have just used a measuring tape to determine each boy’s height. Now the children are working to record their measurements on paper. Boden writes down the number for each of their heights.  Golden examines his friend’s work and notices that Boden’s “41” looks like “47”.  The teacher encourages Golden to show Boden what he means.  Boden is distracted at first.  Golden works patiently to successfully engage his friend in the process of revising his number writing. Rather than giving you our analysis of the clip, we have provided you with a set of questions that you can use to discover its significance:

What aspect of number sense does Golden show he understands when he says, “44 is more than 43 and 41” (00:00:05)?

Golden says, “You know that 4 is backwards” (00:00:16). If he correctly infers that Boden intends to represent the number 4, then why do you think Golden is concerned?  What assumptions may Golden make about the purpose of their writing activity (written record)?

Golden says, “It kind of looks like a 4, um 7. That looks like a 47” (00:00:27). When Golden shares his interpretation do you think Boden is encouraged to reflect on the meaning conveyed by the numbers he has written? Offer evidence from the video to explain why or why not.

Do you agree with the teacher’s decision to invite Golden to support Boden in writing the number 41?

In what ways do you think the guidance offered to Boden by his peers differs from the guidance a teacher or parent might provide? Describe the benefits of peer tutoring.

On occasion, Boden resists the help offered by his peers. For example, Boden asserts, “It's okay if I go backwards” (00:01:50),” and “I already know how to make a 4” (00:03:14). What do you also notice Boden does to maintain the social interaction with his peers and/or show acceptance of their help?

Identify at least three strategies you notice Golden using to engage Boden. When do you think he is most effective?

Do you think it is acceptable for Golden to erase Boden’s writing? Why or why not?

In your opinion, why does Golden say, “Ah-ha. There we go. You were actually right and I was wrong” (00:03:27). What inferences, if any, might you make about his emotional development?

At the end the video, the revised number 4 is no longer orientated upside down, but it remains reversed (mirrored).  What would you do to further support the children’s efforts to overcome the technical challenges of writing conventional number forms?

Keywords: fours, numbers, child-child, writing, communication, peer tutoring, literacy

Length of video: 3 minutes 40 seconds