Thursday, July 7, 2011

Math 1510/ Is it a good idea to use words instead of variables for prealgebra?

Let's face it.  As a future teacher, one of my main goals is not only to have students understand math problems, but to also retain the materials for events to come.  This includes more math classes that are inevitable and real word applications. 
Students do not learn from worksheets alone.  Working on paper can often become boring and tedious.  I have learned this from my own experiences.  If we want students to gain long term retention, we need to link any kind of information to help students create a better understanding of math problems. If using words instead of variables in algebra problem solving develops comprehension in students, why not use them? 
I feel that involving students in choosing different words to relate to an algebra problem is an effective and efficient way in guiding students to a better understanding of math problems.  Try having students write their own words that make sense to them personally.  If a student feels comfortable, have them show the other students, with their own words, how they got their answer.

I know that I have felt just like this kitten when it comes to algebra.  I hope to help students gain a better understand of algebra, whether with words or other means, so that they don't have to feel this way too!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Math 1512/ Does the word GEOMETRY scare you too?


When I was in high school, a long time ago, I remember when I had to take geometry.  I think that even the word had me scared.  Everyone told me how difficult it was to pass.  Although I did alright in high school, to this day when I am working on geometry problems, I still worry that I am not going to understand it.  Just the word, geometry, makes me nervous.
Geometry is a branch of mathematics that is concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures and the properties of space. As many of use know, geometry has to do with lengths, areas and volumes. It is one of the oldest mathematical sciences. This is such an important area of math for students to discover and understand since there are many real world problems that deal with geometry.
 There is so much technology out now that can help students not only understand geometry, but also find the geometry can be fun. While working on different assignments in pedagogy class, one assignment was to create lessons for a selected grade, subject and unit.  I developed lessons for fourth grade mathematics in a geometry unit.  This helped me to understand how to create lessons in geometry that can be interesting and help students remained engaged.  It was my goal, with the help of a smart board and math websites, to develop lessons for students so they wouldn't have to be scared of the word geometry. Geometry does not have to be scary anymore. 

 Here are a few websites that I found that can help with geometry: