Visualizing Word Problems: A Path to a Solution

Author: Rachel Odoroff

School/Organization:

Henry C. Lea

Year: 2020

Seminar: A Visual Approach to Learning Math

Grade Level: 7-12

Keywords: algebra, function, Math

School Subject(s): Math

This unit will explore problem solving in the middle school mathematics classroom by employing visual representations to support student thinking.  Proportional reasoning, rate of change and rate problems that include initial values present some of the most critical concepts for students to master at this level.  Students will view PowerPoint presentations designed to help students “see” a problem. Lessons for this unit will also capitalize on a key, middle school strength: the power of peers.  Using cooperative learning strategies, students will have the opportunity to work together to solve rich tasks (math problems) involving rate of change problems that are both proportional and non-proportional. A written teaching objective for this type of problem might look like: “Students will be able to interpret linear equations in two variables in order to solve a real-world word problem.” The accompanying Pennsylvania State standard addressed in this unit is: Solve real-world and mathematical problems leading to two linear equations in two variables. (M08.B-E.3.1.5)

Download Unit: Rachel-Odoroff-pdf.pdf

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