Critical thinking activities for high school math

Critical thinking math worksheets

They finish middle school and begin high school usually embarking on year-long studies of content-intensive mathematical subject areas: a year of Algebra 1, then a year of Geometry, then a year of Algebra 2, and so on. In Linear Patterns students determine number patterns and geometric patterns, and then deduce algebraic expressions to describe these patterns a precursor to creating algebraic equations to describe linear graphs. Mazes - Your run-of-the-mill start and finish mazes. I wanted to understand why the results had been so poor, so I stayed to observe June and her students in their normal routines. Under such conditions it was unreasonable to expect that students were going to be able to spontaneously engage in problem solving. They should have freedom to work on these questions in self-selected groups or on their own, and on the vertical non-permanent surfaces or at their desks. We need to be reflective practitioners who constantly evaluate our work, questioning curriculum and practice, including assessment, student grouping, the use of technology, and our beliefs of how children best learn mathematics. Student notes: Students should write thoughtful notes to their future selves. Many students gave up quickly, so June also spent much effort trying to motivate them to keep going.

Real-world applications are easily identifiable. How will you and your students engage in critical and creative thinking?

Critical thinking activities for high school math

Consider the core processes of the curriculum. Real-world applications are easily identifiable. Student work space: Groups should stand and work on vertical non-permanent surfaces such as whiteboards, blackboards, or windows. Often students see mathematics as black or white, right or wrong. Model with mathematics. Making Predictions - A good warm-up for inferences. Practice questions: Students should be assigned four to six questions to check their understanding. In each class, I saw the same thing—an assumption, implicit in the teaching, that the students either could not or would not think. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. How groups are formed: At the beginning of every class, a visibly random method should be used to create groups of three students who will work together for the duration of the class. Developing good thinking and learning habits requires investment of time and patience, and well-intended educators can be drawn away from quality mathematical practices when the drive to learn content becomes too formidable. The following day I was back with a new problem. Who should be engaging in critical and creative thinking? Is it just for students?

It did not go well. Student work space: Groups should stand and work on vertical non-permanent surfaces such as whiteboards, blackboards, or windows.

These sorts of enrichment activities provide middle school students with an opportunity to explore mathematical content, create or reinforce ideas, make connections, and use abstract reasoning. It involves thinking on a much deeper underlying level rather than just at the surface.

Critical thinking activities for higher education

Once I realized this, I proceeded to visit 40 other mathematics classes in a number of schools. Fostering Perseverance The first Common Core mathematical practice standard emphasizes the need to have students make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. The mathematics curriculum in Australia provides teachers with the perfect opportunity to teach mathematics through critical and creative thinking. Using a range of problem solving activities is a good place to start, but you might want to also use some shorter activities and some extended activities. She had never done problem solving with her students before, but with its prominence in the recently revised British Columbia curriculum, she felt it was time. Note the depth and value of a critical thinking opportunity: the solution strategy connects 2D geometry with the number theory technique of factoring and is a precursor to a more sophisticated factoring procedure used in Algebra 1. If there are data, diagrams, or long expressions in the task, these can be written or projected on a wall, but instructions should still be given verbally. Therefore, teaching through problem-solving rather than for problem-solving. The teacher should answer only the third type of question. When these toolkits are enacted in their entirety, an optimal transformation of the learning environment has been achieved in the vast majority of classrooms. For example, a traditional 2D geometry question might ask: Calculate the perimeter and area of a rectangle with a inch length and a 9-inch width. Consider the core processes of the curriculum. There are lots of reasons that teachers should be engaged with critical and creative thinking.

Summative assessment: Summative assessment should focus more on the processes of learning than on the products, and should include the evaluation of both group and individual work.

How tasks are given to students: As much as possible, tasks should be given verbally.

Critical thinking activities pdf

The Balance Between Mathematical Content and Practice Students begin middle school exposed to mathematics as a very broad subject covering a wide array of topics: 2D geometry, probability, percentages, number theory, logic, patterns, statistics, graphing, number operations, proportions, elementary algebra, 3D geometry, and so on. Attend to precision. This should begin at a level that every student in the room can participate in. When we embed critical and creative thinking, we transform learning from disjointed, memorisation of facts, to sense-making mathematics. Ideally, the middle school years provide educators with new opportunities to foster good thinking habits and mathematical practices. So June decided it was time to give up. Room organization: The classroom should be de-fronted, with desks placed in a random configuration around the room—away from the walls—and the teacher addressing the class from a variety of locations within the room. This makes the work visible to the teacher and other groups. If there are data, diagrams, or long expressions in the task, these can be written or projected on a wall, but instructions should still be given verbally. Critical and creative thinking need to be embedded in every mathematics lesson. This motivated me to find a way to build, within these same classrooms, a culture of thinking.

This continued for the whole period. Problem solving and reasoning require critical and creative thinking. From this research emerged a collection of 14 variables and corresponding optimal pedagogies that offer a prescriptive framework for teachers to build a thinking classroom.

However, overcoming obstacles and persevering with a task that requires multiple steps and authentic reasoning can also sometimes be discouraging for early adolescent brains just learning how to tap into their emerging powers.

math enrichment activities middle school pdf
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Free Critical Thinking Worksheets