Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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RepresentationSession 05 Overviewtab atab btab ctab dTab eReference
Part E

Evaluating Representation
  Make a Lesson Plan | Summing up the Session | Final Journal
"As middle-grades students model and solve problems that arise in the real and mathematical worlds, they learn to use variables to represent unknowns and also learn to employ equations, tables, and graphs to represent and analyze relationships."

(NCTM, 2000, p. 71)


Lessons that incorporate representations should include several stages for students to consider. Students need to create representations from the data presented in the problem, and use representations to model the problem. These representations should help students find patterns, see relationships, and make generalizations. A good lesson will include opportunities for students to use various forms of representation as they complete a task. We want students to be able to translate from one type of representation to another -- for example, using information in a table and then translating it into a graphical representation. Finally, representations should be imbedded in student discussions and class presentations in order to support students in communicating their mathematical thinking.

Use the information you learned in this session to plan a lesson for one of your classes. Remember, you will need to define a task that expects students to use various forms of representation in order to complete it. You may want to consider a task that incorporates the use of technology (a calculator, a spreadsheet, or software) as one of the representations.

Use a problem that you currently teach, or plan to teach, in your subject area and grade level.

After you have created your lesson plan, use the Classroom Checklist (an Adobe PDF document) to evaluate it.

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