id: 06597638
dt: j
an: 2016d.00694
au: Wiesman, Jeff L.
ti: Enhancing students’ understanding of square roots.
so: Math. Teach. Middle Sch. 20, No. 9, 556-558 (2015).
py: 2015
pu: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Reston, VA
la: EN
cc: H20 F50 D70
ut: square roots; understanding; misconceptions; student errors
ci:
li: http://www.nctm.org/Publications/Mathematics-Teaching-in-Middle-School/2015/Vol20/Issue9/Enhancing-Students_-Understanding-of-Square-Roots/
ab: Summary: Students enrolled in a middle school prealgebra or algebra course
often struggle to conceptualize and understand the meaning of radical
notation when it is introduced. For example, although it is important
for students to approximate the decimal value of a number such as
$\sqrt{30}$ and estimate the value of a square root in the form of
$a\sqrt{b}$, many would struggle with such assignments. Similarly,
students frequently have difficulties understanding, remembering, and
applying the properties of radicals. As a result, Jeff Wiesman
developed an engaging and interactive activity to improve students’
knowledge of this foundational mathematical principle. This activity
provides an opportunity for students to strengthen their number sense
and their ability to estimate, which are skills valued by the Common
Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), NCTM Standards, and local
curricula. To be sure, CCSSM standards for eighth-grade mathematics
include truncating the decimal expansion of a square root, comparing
the size of irrational numbers with rational numbers, and locating an
irrational number on a number line. Students enjoy this lesson because
it includes a competitive component, which often enhances student
motivation. By using an innovative technique to develop students’
conceptual understanding of radicals, Wiesman is also able to promote
situational interest and, therefore, improve students’ intrinsic
motivation to learn. Finally, this activity can be used to provide
additional practice, feedback, and clarification, which can all help to
develop more efficacious students. (ERIC)
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