Defining Communication
 The Communication Standard | Using Effective Questioning | Using Precise Language | Additional Communication Strategies | Communication and the Other Process Standards | The Classroom Environment | Summary | Your Journal

The Shaded/Unshaded Circles problem in the previous section reveals a key aspect of the Communication Standard.

As you explored this problem, you may have discovered that the more precise your description, the better you understood the problem. This precision would also help someone else understand your thinking.

 Question: How would you describe to a friend on the telephone which set has the greater percentage of shaded circles? Show Answer
 Our Answer: Here is one way you might have described this ratio to your friend, using precise language: "Both sets have the same number of shaded circles. However, Set B has a greater portion of the whole shaded than Set A, since 2/5 is greater than 1/3. One way to compare these two fractions is to find common numerators. Since 1/3 is equivalent to 2/6, you can compare 2/5 and 2/6. Two parts of five is greater than two parts of six, so 2/5 is greater than 2/6 (or 1/3)."

The process of describing how you can compare one set with another forces the listener and speaker to concentrate on the relationship between the shaded and unshaded circles in each of the two sets. If you can't describe it, it's likely that your understanding isn't both visual and symbolic; you might try to develop communication skills that include both of these characteristics.

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