Gender differences in mathematics strategies used by third and fifth grade children
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This study was designed to determine whether gender differences in strategy use found among first and third grade children continue into the fifth grade. Seventy-eight third and fifth grade children from two suburban public elementary schools participated in this study. Children solved number facts, word problems, extension problems, and non-routine problems individually in the spring. Strategy use was assessed based on observation and the children’s reports. Third grade girls were more likely than third grade boys to use strategies utilizing manipulatives across all problem categories. Fifth grade boys were more likely than fifth grade girls to use invented strategies on word problems and across all problem categories. No gender differences were found in the children’s use of retrieval or standard algorithms. No gender differences were found in the total number of correct responses for any problem category.