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Topic: Characteristics of problems that motivate discourse
Replies: 6   Last Post: Jun 12, 2001 10:38 PM

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Kevin J. Maguire

Posts: 28
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Characteristics of problems that motivate discourse
Posted: Jun 11, 2001 11:29 PM
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Good morning,

In developing problems that stimulate classroom discourse I have tried
to present to my students problems that may require a 'counter
intuitive' solution. In a problem such as, "Mary had saved three times
as much as Tom. If Mary had saved $75, how much had Tom saved?"
students who look for key words only might focus upon the '... as much
as..' and think of multiplying rather than adopting a different
strategy (division or repeated subtraction for example.

In the classroom discussion following time to arrive at a solution the
role of the teacher is first to invite a representative from the group
to explain the solution and the strategy used to obtain the solution.
As I teacher I then encourage others to challenge the solution or the
strategy (or both) by supplying proof that either is incorrect.

Of course this is a simplified example and in the classroom many of
the problems I've presented are more compelex than the above.

Regards,
Kevin





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