Developing an audio card reader program for teaching geometric concepts

With the expansion of the elementary math program during the last decade, new teaching methods and materials were needed. Since geometry is one of the areas now taught at the elementary level, there arose a need for materials especially designed to present these concepts to children. A sight and sound approach to learning was therefore explored, since it had proven to be successful in the teaching of reading. A thorough research of the literature brought out the following conclusions: Math labs meet individual learner needs because they present a flexible environment in which real learning and understanding take place specific content must be geared to the ability of the child, and the use of concrete materials and audiovisual aids seem to promise a high degree of learning. Against this background a unique method was developed for this project which consists of an audio card reader program. Thirty-two cards with a sound track along the bottom were designed to be inserted into an audio card machine at the student's own pace. The cards cover the following four areas: Points and lines, circles, angles and polygons. Each card presents a geometric concept in written, symbolic and abstract form. The cards were organized sequentially and were in learning centers which involve the students in discussing and learning together. Each of the four sections contains a pre- and post-test related to the content of that section, and matches the written word to its correct geometric abstraction. A self checking system is built into each test which may also be adapted for teacher control. A table for accountability: guidelines is also included. A test was devised and validated to prove that in a controlled situation, significant learning took place in the group that used the audio card program whereas cant learning took place with the other group. Thirty-eight sixth grade students were randomly selected for testing from a total sixth grade population in a 95 percent Spanish surname school. Nineteen students were involved in each group. Since students involved in the audio card program achieved so well, this would indicate that the program would be a highly effective and motivational method of teaching these specific geometric concepts.