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ARTICLE REVIEW: MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS THAT OPTIMIZE LEARNING FOR ACADEMICALLY

Article Review: Mathematical Problems That Optimize Learning for Academically Advanced Students in Grades K6 Lara Landry National University

ARTICLE REVIEW: MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS THAT OPTIMIZE LEARNING FOR ACADEMICALLY Abstract The following paper summarizes the main ideas discussed in the article

Mathematical Problems That Optimize Learning for Academically Advanced Students in Grades K6, which focuses on the importance in altering curriculum design to meet the needs of high achieving students and help the U.S. to be competitive in mathematics achievement globally. A personal reflection of the article follows the summary.

ARTICLE REVIEW: MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS THAT OPTIMIZE LEARNING FOR ACADEMICALLY In the article Mathematical Problems That Optimize Learning for Academically Advanced Students in Grades K6, the author poses the argument that "students of advanced academic capabilities" are not being sufficiently challenged. It is stated that eighth grade math students do not "fare well" with international students their age. Before discussing the different implications teachers can make to meet the needs of the advanced math students, the nine different ways of thinking in math are listed and detailed in subsequent sections. These nine ways of thinking are having the ability to formalize math material, generalize math material, operate with numerals and symbols,

use sequential and logical reasoning, curtail, reverse mental processes, think flexibly, use mathematical memory, and work with spatial concepts. The concepts of LOT and HOT tasks and lower and higher levels of cognition are detailed in the article. In Bloom's taxonomy, there are six levels of cognition. Generally it is agreed that the first two-four levels are lower (LOT) and the final three-four are higher (HOT). The LOT tasks refer to those that the problem solver pulls from previously memorized information. The HOT tasks are the ones that the problem solver needs to engage in cognition to solve the problem. The HOT tasks have a degree of self-regulation in monitoring the level of success in problem solving. In order to fully optimize learning situations for high achieving students, high-level tasks (HOT) must be employed. Chamberlin suggests three implications for teachers to meet the needs of nine different ways of thinking. The first is to carefully scrutinize the curriculum to make sure it meets the needs of all students, including academically advanced students. The second is to provide for conceptual algorithms through the use of mathematical problems and authentically challenging tasks. Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) were mentioned in

ARTICLE REVIEW: MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS THAT OPTIMIZE LEARNING FOR ACADEMICALLY the second article too as a supplementary curriculum that has shown "promise in adequately challenging academically advanced students" and are said to have strong relationships to the problems used in high-performing countries like Singapore, China and Japan (Chamberlin, 2010). The third implication suggested for teachers is to utilize supplemental material in conjunction with the text in teaching. This article implies that the mainstream math curricula in many classrooms have an over-reliance on routine procedures and low-level thinking skills, which comes through the use of textbook based problems like mathematical exercises or story problems. The suggestion is, in order to fully optimize learning situations, high-level math problem solving should be employed like HOT tasks and MEAs. I was intrigued by the suggestions in this article. I think it is very important to make every necessary accommodation to ensure the success of our students. We do not want them to behind others at their grade level globally. We are a technologically advanced nation and should be competing with other academically advanced nations.

ARTICLE REVIEW: MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS THAT OPTIMIZE LEARNING FOR ACADEMICALLY References Chamberlin, S. A. (2010). Mathematical problems that optimize learning for academically advanced students in grades k-6. Journal Of Advanced Academics, 22(1), 52-76.