Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Construct - Transfer - Apply: A Basis for Planning

This year I am trying to plan my lessons/units around the process for how students, as shown in The Role of Mathematics in the PYP pg 1. 

Our first unit is on Place Value, with that in mind I have been brainstorming ways in which I can approach this unit in a way that reflects the learning process.

In this stage students should be exposed to using materials and involved in discussions about what they already know about the concept or question.

My plan is to provide an range of numbers from which students can chose which ones they would like to model using manipulatives and then ask them to share their understanding about how they constructed their chosen number.

By giving students a range of numbers they are able to working within their desired capabilities but still providing them with the option of extending or challenging themselves.

I will them give them other opportunities to practice with other numbers trying to extend and challenging them to try more difficult numbers.

Once students have constructed their meaning I asked them to demonstrate their understanding of using numbers and mathematical language. Obviously there was some overlap between constructing and transferring as students were using their knowledge of numbers and values to express their thinking.

An example of this was asking students to create numbers using materials and then write and say the number to that represents that value.

Another activity was to ask students to make as many numbers as they could using a variety of different digits.

A game I love playing with my students is "guess my number" using a hundreds board. This is a great way for students to transfer their new knowledge but asking questions that relate to place value, such as, "Is there a 4 in the tens place?".

Using place value in real-life situations was something that made me question, "When do we use place value in "real-life" situations? At a Grade two level this caused me to wonder even more. Do G2 students actually use place value in "real-life"

One use is obviously in counting and the second in problem solving. An example of this was during a lesson on estimation. Students had to estimate large boxes of materials and then use their knowledge of place value to count them to see if their predictions were close.


The applying will come when they can use place value to add and subtract numbers together and to group numbers when multiplying or dividing. My hope is that by having a great understanding of place value students will be able to conceptually understand the numbers that they are adding together.

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