Just as many students have a preferred learning style, many teachers have a preferred teaching style. If a teacher uses one preferred teaching style almost exclusively and does not adjust to the learning styles of some students, the students suffer.23 A teacher needs to be aware of his or her preferred teaching style and the preferred learning styles of each of his or her students. Only then can a teacher design learning experiences that accommodate the needs of all students. In the United States, we tend to stress verbal and mathematical reasoning skills more than many of the other multiple intelligences identified by Howard Gardner.24 Many believe that, by recognizing the other intelligences in students, a teacher can take advantage of these abilities.
If several students have a strong musical intelligence, for example, a teacher can create activities that use music as a bridge to a mathematical concept, such as time signatures and note values to discuss the measurement of time.25
|Summary of Cognitive and Developmental Issues|
|A teacher should be aware of the van Hiele levels of his or her students and use appropriate language and symbols. A teacher should design activities to move students from van Hiele Level 1 (visualization) in kindergarten, through Level 2 (analysis), to Level 3 (informal deduction) by grade eight.|
|Brain research, in areas such as memory retention and the learning of new concepts, has significant implications for instruction. Teachers need to stay informed about the latest research concerning education and work to implement that research in the classroom.|
|Geometry and measurement at the elementary school level should be informal, exploratory, and hands-on. When introducing new concepts, a teacher should start with concrete representations (e.g., manipulatives) and introduce visual representations and abstract symbolism as students increase their level of understanding.|
When introducing a new manipulative or technology, a teacher should give students time to play and become familiar with the new educational tool.
When introducing a new geometric shape, a teacher should show both examples and non-examples of the shape as well as different sizes and orientations.
|The amount and type of technology will vary by grade level. A teacher should be sure that his or her students are developmentally ready for the technology used.|
A teacher should teach geometry and measurement in context, making connections between the concepts and the students' world as well as to other areas of mathematics and other disciplines.
A teacher should carefully plan experiences with geometry and measurement to take advantage of prior knowledge and to challenge students' misconceptions.
|A teacher must actively engage students in the learning process, so students construct their own knowledge.|
A teacher should provide equal opportunity for all students to learn mathematics, regardless of gender or other personal characteristics; educational equity requires that teachers have high expectations for all students.
Whenever feasible, a teacher should make students aware of the contributions of all cultures to geometry and measurement.
|A teacher should take into account the different learning styles of his or her students and take advantage of their multiple intelligences.|
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