| | Volume 12 Issue 15 | | We learn to count on our fingers, one of the earliest indicators that math learning depends on our ability to create visual pathways for mathematical concepts. Now, research led by Stanford's Jo Boaler shows that training people on ways to perceive their own fingers while solving problems results in higher math achievement. In response, educators and parents are looking for ways to help students develop their brains to better "see" the math they are learning. How do you get students to envision math and represent knowledge visually? | | | | | | Helping students make sense of math requires moving back and forth among visual, relational models and the abstract lexicon of math symbols. Whether using everyday objects (like the classroom rug) or graphic organizers (like a tape diagram), visual cues make math concepts stick and help students learn in lasting ways. | | | Do you envision math as numbers, formulas, and answers, or do you see groupings and images? Seeing math as chunks of images speeds up information processing and gives the brain time to make new connections based on previous ones. From counting fingers to card games, here are five strategies for helping students envision math concepts. | | | Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Model with Mathematics and use those skills to solve real-world problems. When we make math visual, we also engage deeply with these mathematical practices from the Common Core State Standards. See how these skills, in turn, can support learning in other content areas. | | | | 2017 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence Advancing Instruction. Improving Learning. | Join us in Denver, Colorado for hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves professional learning for innovative, creative, and dedicated educators, like you! The Conference on Teaching Excellence expands your expertise with proven solutions, game-changing ideas, and the tools you need to transform student learning. June 30–July 2, 2017. | | | | | | Cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner theorized that learners demonstrate understanding in three stages: enactive (use of concrete objects), iconic, and symbolic. Here's a blueprint for teaching addition and subtraction that progresses through these three stages, working with how the brain learns best to create conceptual understanding. | | | Too often, mathematics instruction gives students the erroneous notion that learning math is all about learning procedures, rather than making sense of ideas. | | | The sentiment, "I'm not a math person," may be borne out of a traditional, procedural approach to teaching mathematics. See how an emphasis on conceptual understanding and experimentation can shift this mindset. | | | Instead of having students memorize angles and values they forget as soon as the test is turned in, this teacher shares her method for creating a visual pathway to understanding trigonometry. It's a strategy with application wherever trigonometric functions occur—from calculus to careers in aviation, architecture, and engineering. | | | | | | | | | | | | *ASCD Express* seeks brief, practical content. Article submissions typically range from 600 to 1,000 words. Learn more. | | | Alexandria, Virginia 22311-1714 © 2017 ASCD. All Rights Reserved. | | | | Member ID # Not Available | | | | |