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Channel Talk

[Channel-talkgeometry] Session 10, Part A

From: Jill Findlay <jillfindlay@msn.com>
Date: Wed Jul 02 2008 - 11:56:21 EDT

Responding to question 2, session 10 grades 3-5 video segment:

This lesson is not couched in a real world context. Students are sorting
shapes and thinking about math in the abstract. What are the advantages and
disadvantages of this lesson? Are "mathematics only" lessons important in
your classroom? What purposes do they, as opposed to contextualized lessons
do they serve?

The advantage in thinking about the abstract is to focus on the mathematics
content without any complicating, extraneous and distracting details. By
just focusing on shapes, students can put all their energy towards
understanding and relating the properties of those shapes. I believe this
is a good strategy to use when introducing a new idea or concept. It is
important to have some grounding on a concept before moving in to solve
"real-world" problems.

With that said, however, I believe lessons that are relevant to real-life
situations are critical in building and constructing deeper thinking and
knowledge that is memorable. By applying learnings to real-life situations,
students can make stronger connections to something that is familiar to
them. In addition, real-life examples help them see why learning these
concepts are useful and can cause them to be more engaged in their learning.

It is important to have a balance of both contextualized and real-world
lessons. Contextualized lessons without real-life examples do not provide
enough relevancy or interest to be memorable. Real-world lessons can create
confusion if the basic mathematical concepts are not taught first. However,
joining contextualized lessons with real-world examples provides for a
deeper and more memorable understanding of the subject matter.

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Received on Mon Jul 7 10:04:28 2008


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