When you’re up speaking in front of a group, it’s so easy to assume that they’re hanging on your every word. The reality is we are incapable of hearing as fast as people speak. We can’t hear everything someone says, let alone remember, let alone understand.
It’s easy to fall in love with chasing the newest technology to use in the classroom. But sometimes, the perfect tool is a plain old calculator. We’ll be using this tool to develop curiosity about math.
Using Hilda Taba’s model of inductive thinking, use your students’ prior knowledge to develop a statement about expected class behavior.
Let’s look at a couple ways to bring inductive thinking into word studies. We’ll examine simple plural rules all the way up to etymology of foreign words in English.
Sure, these may be games at heart, but you can take them to the next level by requiring students to develop strategies, write them out, and then use them to challenge you to a match! Unlike a game of chess, each of these activities are incredibly simple, so students can quickly formulate and test strategies.
With inductive learning, we still define terms, explain rules, and practice, but the order is different. We’re harnessing gifted students’ natural abilities to enhance our lessons.
Gifted students spot patterns quicker than the rest of us. They learn faster. They naturally move from concrete to abstract, just as Holmes inferred Watson’s hometown from his shoes. Let’s set up our lessons to take advantage of this natural ability.
The problem is that we dive in with formulae before students have their bearings. Let your students get their hands dirty with geometry. They’ve got to play with the shapes and explore. Beginning adders and subtractors work with manipulatives before they delve into abstract arithmetic. Older students are still beginning geometers. Give them a chance to touch the math and have some fun.
Let’s play with linear graphing! First, don’t set this up as a direct instruction lesson. That wouldn’t be playing. Instead, capitalize on your students’ ability to think inductively and recognize patterns. Set up a situation where they can construct their own meaning.
Remembering the formulae for area and circumference of a circle is often a challenge for students due to their surface similarities as well as the additional confusion of radius and diameter. I like to tackle them one at a time and give students a chance to explore the origin of each formula. Let’s look at circumference today by utilizing some famous circles from around the world… and beyond!