Chapter 4 focuses on increasing comprehension by asking questions. In my own experience as a student, I was forced to memorize algorithms and formulas but I had no idea why or how they worked. I remember when my dad used to try to explain a math problem to me, I’d become frustrated, yelling & crying, “That’s not the way my teacher told me to do it!” It was not until I became a teacher and started researching, reading, and going to numerous math workshops and conferences, that I began to UNDERSTAND how math worked!! Now I value questions and exploratory methods for solving!
I love the idea of a Wonder Wall; a place for students to post wonderings/questions (& then the answers!) This year I plan to use Padlet, a free website that serves as a “wall” for students to respond to a topic or questions. It works like an online sheet of paper where people can put any content. Try it out by posting on my sample Padlet here.
Just as good readers visualize as they read, Chapter 5 connects the importance of visualizing mathematical ideas. Until students can see the concrete, it is difficult to understand the abstract. Students need multiple representations of math ideas. A popular tool usually used to practice spelling words are wiki stix. The are wax-coated bendable sticks of yarn. For spelling, students use them to form letters and words. For math, they are a great to form groups, build arrays, show fractions, bend into geometric shapes. . .