Fostering Mathematical Thinking (Bay Area)
All math teachers want their students thinking deeply about concepts and coming away with procedural knowledge that goes way beyond a set of rules. To accomplish such a lofty task, our goals are rooted in fostering mathematical thinking in our students.
Mathematical thinking involves making models, developing skills through concepts, using logical reasoning, making and testing conjectures, and representing ideas. For many students, especially in Middle School, having concrete experiences promotes deeper mathematical thinking and development. Deriving rules and understanding why those rules work encourages better understanding and longer term retention.
This workshop will investigate ways we can use concrete experiences such as making models, working with manipulatives, or exploring real world situations to initiate and foster mathematical thinking skills. Participants will explore mathematical thinking tasks as well as work on developing a mathematical thinking task of their own. Content will be oriented toward those teaching fifth-ninth grade, with a strong focus on the middle school setting.
We hope to continue the exploration with an ongoing learning group during the 2018-2019 school year.