Sunday, November 11, 2007

Algebra Problem Takes Three Thinking Maps

Scott and Lizzy have been working this fall with Algebra students and using thinking maps to solve problems. The students went through a process of defining the problem with a circle map, classifying known information about the problem in a tree map, and then putting the equation steps into a flow map.

The teachers prompted the circle map creation with the question, "what do you need to define to solve this word problem?" "What distance" was the essential question, so that became the center of the circle map, and students defined "what distance" with all the details they knew from the word problem.

The second step was to classify the details into a tree map. Lizzy and Scott did not tell the students the categories, so many students struggled with this step. Upon reflection, Lizzy and Scott felt that the tree map categories should be worked out in a full class discussion so that students are not led too far astray. Here are the resulting tree maps:

No comments: