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ERIC Number: EJ1093097
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 18
Selecting Proportional Reasoning Tasks
de la Cruz, Jessica A.
Australian Mathematics Teacher, v69 n2 p14-18 2013
With careful consideration given to task selection, students can construct their own solution strategies to solve complex proportional reasoning tasks while the teacher's instructional goals are still met. Several aspects of the tasks should be considered including their numerical structure, context, difficulty level, and the strategies they are likely to elicit from students. In the middle grades, it is extremely important for students to develop sound proportional reasoning skills as a foundation for future coursework in mathematics. Researchers consider proportional reasoning skills to involve more than applying the cross-multiplication algorithm. Teachers can help students develop this understanding by postponing the introduction of the cross-multiplication algorithm and engaging them in well-designed problem solving situations. When students solve contextual problems in their own ways, they are forced to make sense of the proportional relationship involved, and often the context helps cue students into it. This paper shares a framework for consideration when choosing or developing tasks focused on proportional reasoning. It assumes that students are developing their own strategies for solving the tasks, prior to the introduction of the cross multiplication algorithm. The framework has two areas that need to be considered when selecting or creating tasks to support students to engage in proportional reasoning: (1) Context; and (2) Numerical Structure.
Descriptors: Thinking Skills, Mathematics, Multiplication, Problem Solving, Numbers, Number Concepts, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Teachers, Difficulty Level, Mathematical Logic, Task Analysis, Learner Engagement, Mathematics Achievement, Comparative Analysis, Middle School Students
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aamt.edu.au
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A