ERIC Number: EJ1043409
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
The Road Less Traveled
Whitney, Stephanie R.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v20 n2 p98-102, 104 Sep 2014
Stephanie Whitney teaches in the department of teacher education at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Her interest is in how students reason and make sense of mathematics, and how teachers can promote this behavior. Students should engage in reasoning and sense making daily in their mathematics classes. It is often through students' divergent thinking as they work on novel mathematical tasks that they make important mathematical connections and that teachers learn about their understandings. Creating opportunities for students to explore allows them to experience mathematics as a connected whole, as opposed to viewing the subject as a series of discrete pieces of information that must be committed to memory. Given mathematical tasks and learning environments that foster opportunities for students to translate among representations, students will develop connected understandings and strong foundations for how to read, interpret, and understand the relationships among tables, graphs, equations, and context in their algebra class. In the cases presented in this article, the answer to the problem was not as important as the students' thinking as they pursued a solution. As with a walk in the woods, solving problems in math class should be as much about the journey as the destination--and that can make all the difference.
Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Middle School Students, Thinking Skills, Algebra, Graphs, Tables (Data), Equations (Mathematics), Problem Solving, Teaching Methods
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A