Monday, July 22, 2013

Building Mathematical Comprehension Chapter 8

Holy Moly! Synthesizing.

This chapter on synthesizing was a toughie. Mainly, in the sense that it is difficult to come up with a way for my students to think about their process of putting together new mathematical ideas, previous learning, and reformulations.

Synthesizing is definitely one of the more challenging strategies to teach. It requires lots of think alouds and teacher modeling. The ability to synthesize first requires teachers to begin with the concrete models (nesting dolls and baking a cake) and then to move to the process of synthesizing.

The process is where it gets tricky. One way to do this is by making conjectures. Conjectures are described as informed guesses and predictions. Students can make conjectures by being given open number sentences where they have to decide if they are true or false and explain why.

In order for our students to practice synthesizing, the problems we choose need to allow students to find patterns and relationships, have more than one solution, and allow for questions (the what ifs).
I honestly had such a difficult time with, how do I help my students "see" their thinking process? I put together an organizer I am going to try out this year. I want to share it with you, but please know it is a work in progress. Click pic to download.

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