Misunderstood Minds • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/
Misunderstood Minds Continued • What Can Stand in the Way of a Student’s Mathematical Development?
What Can Stand in the Way of a Student’s Mathematical Development? • 1. Incomplete Mastery of Number Facts • 2. Computational Weakness • 3. Difficulty Transferring Knowledge • 4. Making Connections • 5. Incomplete Understanding of the Language of Math • 6. Difficulty Comprehending the Visual and Spatial Aspects and Perceptual Difficulties
Incomplete Mastery of Number Facts • Basic computations such as • 9 + 3 = 12 or 4 x 6=24 • Recalling these facts quickly allows student to approach more advanced mathematical thinking…if they cannot do quickly…they are bogged down by simple calculations
Computational Weakness • Student may have good understanding of math concepts, but are inconsistent with computing • They make errors by misreading signs or symbols, or may not write numerals clearly enough or in the right column
Difficulty Transferring Knowledge • Inability to connect abstract or conceptual concepts of math with reality. • Understand what symbols represent in the physical world and how easily a child will remember a concept. • This is where hands on activities can help!
Making Connections • Some students have difficulty making meaningful connections with mathematical experiences. • For example symbols in algebra and what they really mean?
Incomplete Understanding of the Language of Math • These students may also have difficulty with reading, writing and speaking. • They may only hear math terminology in a math class with little application. • Understanding of verbal, and written word problems may be difficult for these students.
Difficulty Comprehending Visual and Spatial Aspects/Perceptual Difficulties • This student has the inability to visualize math concepts. • An example could be to determine what shape will result when a 3-D figure is rotated?
What Can I Do? • Identify and discuss the child’s strengths and interests? • Demystify math? • Teach basic concepts using concrete objects such as manipulatives? • Provide special paper or materials such as graph paper? • Model each problem or procedure?
General Ideas? • Use cooperative math problem solving activities? • Provide time for checking work and correcting work? • Connect mathematical concepts for familiar situations such as measuring everyone’s hand… connect to real world that they can relate to? • Help children apply math concepts, … for example to buy something they want that may be on sale?
Memory • Provide a strategy to a child and observe to see if working, may have to try several? • Incorporate technology, such as spreadsheet software? • Practice/teach strategies to remember basic math facts? • Use a math notebook to write down rules or math vocabulary?...Graphic Organizer
Memory • Have students practice subskills and record their progress? • Teach math in many modes… Gardner’s multiple intelligences? • Use games to enhance working memory? • Review patterns for complex visual designs?
Language • Focus on information provided in word problems • Choose strategies that suit the child’s learning style • Encourage children to verbalize the problem in their own words • Teach math vocabulary • Identify key terms for them, include new vocabulary in their math notebook, have them highlight or underline key words
Language • Provide a model for a problem, work through it, ask questions and verbalize your thinking • Have children identify topics that they are interested in • Build a foundation for multi-step problems, one step equations first before two step equations, etc.
Language • Have children isolate steps for multi-step problems • Complete each step on paper • Reduce data on page to reduce being overwhelmed • Have children solve problems with pictures, tables, anything that helps them understand the problem • Provide calculators, computers, templates, manipulatives, tools for geometric figures, etc.