Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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CommunicationSession 02 Overviewtab aTab btab ctab dtab eReference
Part B

Exploring Communication
  Are These Shapes Congruent? | Try It Yourself: Congruent Shapes | Problem Reflection | Your Journal


After you have explored the Congruent Shapes activity, please answer the following questions:

  • How would you describe your communication process as you solved the problems? Did focusing on your internal communication help you gain new insights?
  • When was informal vocabulary adequate or helpful in thinking about a problem? When did it hinder clear communication?
  • What was the effect of having to explain why two figures were or were not congruent?
  • How does the kind of question posed foster communication? For instance, what is the difference between asking "Are these two the same shape?" and "Why are these two the same shape?"

One point to remember is that for both teachers and students, internal communication helps organize one's thoughts, especially when working alone. This is the kind of work your students are doing as they work on similar problems. Attention to internal communication can help you explain your thought process to others. Making sketches to organize and represent your solutions, using precise definitions, considering connections to other known mathematics, manipulating models or shapes during problem solving, making and annotating lists, and justifying your answers are all forms of communication.

Communication is part of all the Process Standards. Communicating orally or in writing about your thoughts can lead to reflection on your own understanding, clarification of new ideas, and a desire to learn more specific concepts and vocabulary. Exploring your own mathematical thinking will lead to more insights, richer experiences for your students, and better explanations and questioning techniques.

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