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Not “just another brick in the wall”. (English)
Math. Teach. Middle Sch. 21, No. 2, 84-89 (2015).
Summary: “Low threshold, high ceiling” tasks are accessible to diverse learners; invite a wide range of approaches; and hold the potential to further challenge, strengthen, and extend everyone’s mathematical reasoning. In this article, the authors present a family of Brick Pyramid problems as examples of “low threshold, high ceiling” tasks. By eliciting the practices of noticing and describing patterns and then symbolizing and generalizing those patterns, Brick Pyramid problems hold great potential for engaging students in “algebraizing”. Brick pyramids, like other such “low threshold, high ceiling” tasks, make it possible to engage all students in framing, solving, and discussing the same problem. In the hands of a teacher who can manage the expected diversity of approaches and support the sharing and exchange of ideas, such an arrangement can maximize opportunities for students to learn, not only from their teacher, but also from each other. (ERIC)
Classification: F33 F43 H23
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