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Topic: maths activities for the right and left side of the brain


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Subject:   RE: maths activities for the right and left side of the brain
Author: Ken Jensen
Date: Aug 6 2008
Any activity that allows students to solve problems with multiple solution
strategies is good for both sides of the brain.  Good for the left side because
there is one definitive answer and good for the right side because there are
many paths to the right answer.  Your understanding of multiple solution methods
during your plan and ability to learn new ones in class is the key.

For example, take a basic percent problem such as 13% of 345.  Students can
solve it using an area model, double number line, a ratio table, or the standard
algorithm.  In a class where mulitple solution methods are encouraged students
will devise other ways to first make sense of the problem and then solve it.

An example in algebra would be solving an equation symbolicaly, with table, or
with a graph.  Graphing calculators would obviously be very helpful here.  

For the elementary and middle school level I would recommend Van De Walle's
book, "Elementary and Middle School Mathematics, Teaching Developmentally" In it
you will find solution strategies you have probably never seen before to even
basic problems like the percent problem above.

Van De Walle's approach would be helpful when using a problem based text such as
investigations or Everyday Math at the elementary level, Connected Math at the
middle school level, or Core Plus or IMP at the high school level.

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