Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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ConnectionsSession 06 Overviewtab atab btab ctab dTab eReference
Part E

Evaluating Connections
  Make a Lesson Plan | Summing Up the Session | Final Journal
"Ultimately, connections within mathematics, connections between mathematics and everyday experience, and connections between mathematics and other disciplines can support learning. Building on the connections can also make mathematics a challenging, engaging, and exciting domain of study."

(NCTM, 2000, p. 205)


An effective lesson that focuses on connections should include several opportunities for students (and/or the teacher) to make connections. In the lessons you viewed, the teacher introduced a task by either asking questions that enabled students to review their previous experiences with the mathematical concepts, or watching for opportunities for students to recognize and describe such connections. When appropriate, the task was also connected to an application outside the classroom. As students worked on a task, either with a partner, in groups, or individually, they made use of several Process Standards: using representations, communicating orally and in writing, trying various problem-solving strategies, and using reasoning to justify their methods and solutions. The teacher's role was to carefully construct questions that helped move students forward in their use of connections, without telling them what to do.

Use the information you learned in this session to plan a lesson for one of your own classes, centered on a key mathematical concept. So that students can make connections to prior learning, you will need to find a task that builds on a concept with which your students have had some previous experience. Through your instructions and the wording of your task, help students understand your expectation that they will make use of connections and explain their thinking processes and reasoning, either orally or in writing (or both). Think of questions you might ask to help students move their thinking forward. Also, think of connections to other subjects or to real-world applications.

Use a problem you teach in your subject area, or select one of the samples from the Learning Math courses.

After you have created your lesson plan, use the Classroom Checklist (an Adobe PDF document) to evaluate it.

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