This is the summary of a presentation given at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 10-13, 1996, Orlando, Florida.
Visualization activities involving manipulatives and active group learning
Visualization of 3D models is most important in higher mathematics and very lacking in many students. Preparedness for visualization needs to be emphasized in the K-8 curriculum, especially in the primary grades. Pre-service teachers need to learn how to teach others how to visualize geometric concepts. Manipulatives help to model such concepts and develop critical thinking skills. Students in a mathematics class designed for pre-service teachers work in cooperative groups using unifix cubes to solve problems. Also, inexpensive manipulatives are used to illustrate geometric concepts and to calculate areas and surface areas. Such exercises can be reinforced through art activities involving origami or tangrams. In solving visualization problems, pre-service teachers enhance their visualization capabilities and also learn ways to teach others how to visualize.
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