Flexible Thinking

Flexible Thinking

Engaging Students through Flexible Thinking

Flexible Thinking-b

One of the most important aims of learning mathematics is for the students to develop a positive attitude to this important learning area. The role of the teacher is very important in establishing this in their students.

If we want students to learn different ways of thinking then we need to clearly show what we want and then to give them time to practice the skill. We need to make sure the opportunities are novel and they allow students to make connections and see the relevance of what they are doing. The brain craves for this type of learning and it important to develop flexible thinkers in the mathematics classroom who will be able to tackle any situations that confronts them.

In order to introduce students to be flexible thinkers we should

  • set up a classroom  environment  where the students  feel physically safe and emotionally secure. How a person “feels” about a learning situation determines the amount of attention devoted to it.
  • promote ‘hands on ’ approach and link the mathematics manipulatives to the abstraction of mathematics. Abstraction is the end process  
  • link  mathematics to  drawings or pictures or story or movement
  • organise thinking by using graphic organisers  e.g. partitioning grid ,subtraction action grid , word problem grid,  fraction mats
  • allow time to practice what you want the students to learn
  • focus on problem solving and mental thinking strategies 
  • introduce students to a range of novel situations which include games such as board games ,card games  or electronic games
  • allow students the opportunity to work together co-operatively , work by themselves independently and also be involved in competitive situations .

[contributed by Robert Korbosky, Community Leader]


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