Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wayland Math Institute: Making Math Models

Math model making steps students and educators into the structure and function of math processes. As we work to create models that best replicate and demonstrate math structures and processes, we become attuned to the details and relationships involved in that mathematical event.

Also, math model making is active math learning. Rather than passive listening and response, math model making activates the students' mind and multiple senses as he/she problem solves around the best ways to create the model.

Further, when math model making is done in collaboration with others, the process promotes math conversation that includes important math vocabulary and concepts.

In addition, making math models builds students' systematic thinking by providing students with multiple ways to organize and process math information to problem solve.

Math model making involves visual literacy which, in many ways, leads to greater recall, share, and understanding.

Utilizing technology in making math models allows the learner to more easily organize and revise multiple elements as the model takes shape. Also technology creates the opportunity for animation and motion which can demonstrate the step-by-step action of a math process. Programs such as SCRATCH, Minecraft, Khan Academy's Coding Tutorial, Tynker, and others give students incredible ability to model math processes.

I look forward to watching and listening to educators create math models using technology today. I also look forward to the educators' ideas with regard to the way they promote, utilize and discuss model making in their classrooms to forward students' math skill, concept, and knowledge.

If you have information you would like to share in this regard, please do. The goal is to reach every math student in meaningful and engaging ways, ways that promote deep math understanding, a love of learning, and apt application in their learning, working, and problem solving efforts.