id: 06514406
dt: j
an: 2016a.00990
au: Özgün-Koca, S. Asli; Edwards, Thomas G.; Chelst, Kenneth R.
ti: Linking LEGO and algebra.
so: Math. Teach. Middle Sch. 20, No. 7, 400-405 (2015).
py: 2015
pu: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Reston, VA
la: EN
cc: U63 D83 M43
ut: mathematical concepts; algebra; mathematical models; activities;
manipulative materials; concept formation; LEGO bricks; modeling;
spreadsheets; real-life problems
ci:
li: http://www.nctm.org/Publications/mathematics-teaching-in-middle-school/2015/Vol20/Issue7/Linking-LEGO-and-Algebra/
ab: Summary: In mathematics, students should represent, model, and work with
such real-world situations as those found in the physical world, the
public policy realm, and society. Additionally, students need to make
decisions and be flexible enough to improve their decisions after
analyzing realistic situations. The LEGO Pets activity does just that.
Modeling with the Common Core’s Standards for Mathematical Practice
is a process that begins with identifying variables, analyzing
relationships, and formulating a model, then moves into interpreting,
validating, and reporting on the results. To bring this modeling
process to life in classrooms, teachers need sources of authentic
problems. But how can teachers determine the authenticity of a problem
that will allow students to model and analyze a situation
mathematically? In this article, the authors describe how they
developed the LEGO Pets activity (activity sheet included at the end of
the article) in which students model a real-world problem situation,
first concretely and then abstractly. They taught the activity in three
sixth-grade classes in an affluent suburban district as well as in one
sixth-grade and one seventh-grade class in a much less affluent
suburban district. Approximately thirty students were in each class.
The students in all five classes were motivated, interested, and able
to work through all the questions posed. Sometimes they needed no
scaffolding to answer the questions; at other times, minimal
scaffolding; and a few times, extensive scaffolding. (ERIC)
rv: