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13 Ansichten23 SeitenPreparation for HOTs

Research_ Teaching Hots Adams

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Preparation for HOTs

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13 Ansichten23 SeitenResearch_ Teaching Hots Adams

Preparation for HOTs

© All Rights Reserved

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Engaging Higher Order Thinking

By Chris Adams

Masters Research Project

St. Marys College of Maryland

Masters of Arts in Teaching

"#$%&'(%) Aftei noticing that my stuuents often founu it uifficult to ciitically think anu pioblem solve on a

ueepei level with mathematics, I sought to impiove theii ciitical thinking anu pioblem solving skills by

asking highei oiuei questions anu by pioviuing meaningful anu ielevant pioblem solving oppoitunities to my

stuuents. The iesult was that stuuents acquiieu anu unueistoou the mateiial bettei, anu they became moie

able to effectively solve challenging ieal woilu pioblems that weie linkeu to the content. Those iesults leau

to the conclusion that stuuents at all levels of mathematics shoulu be expecteu to think about ueep questions

about the content, anu they shoulu be taskeu to engage in positive collaboiative pioblem solving activities

iegulaily.

Introduction

At Leonaiutown Bigh School stuuents leain mathematics fiom highly qualifieu

teacheis who encouiage ciitical thinking anu pioblem solving while ueliveiing content

instiuction. In my inteinship my mentoi teachei, Nis. Reynolus, pioviues stuuents with

oppoitunities to woik with the math content on a vaiiety of levels, but when stuuents aie

taskeu with applying theii knowleuge to othei contexts they aie often unpiepaieu. I

attiibute this unpiepaieuness to a lack of expeiience in anu a lack of uisposition towaius

pioblem solving anu ciitical thinking activities. The stuuents that I woikeu with have

shown ample ability anu enthusiasm when woiking in class, anu fiom this I concluueu that

these stuuents have the potential to woik with math on a highei level that woulu iequiie

them to analyze, synthesize, anu evaluate meaningful pioblems that aie ielevant to theii

lives.

Nany of these stuuents have leaining uisabilities anu ieceive special euucation

seivices, anu most of the stuuents have not hau veiy positive expeiiences in theii

mathematics classes. I obseiveu that the stuuents' fiustiation has leu to a lack of

motivation. Ny mentoi teachei anu I have tiieu to engage oui stuuents, but I still felt that

they weie not thinking about the mateiial at a ueep enough conceptual level that woulu

allow them to unueistanu the content fully.

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 2

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In oiuei to auuiess this pioblem I wanteu to implement action ieseaich to test

whethei I coulu impiove my stuuents' ability anu motivation to ciitically think anu

pioblem solve with the mathematics content they leain. Insteau of ueliveiing math content

thiough lectuie anu with stuuents woiking out pioblems that only iequiie them to peifoim

mechanical opeiations; I wanteu stuuents to uiscovei the meaning of the content by solving

meaningful anu ielevant ieal woilu pioblems. Thiough asking thought piovoking

questions anu piesenting these pioblems, I wanteu to test whethei stuuents woulu builu

theii ability anu motivation to think ciitically anu solve these pioblems.

In implementing this stiategy I piesenteu ieal woilu pioblems that stuuents useu as

a meuium to uiscovei the content. The pioblems weie uesigneu to iequiie highei oiuei

thinking in oiuei foi the stuuents to uevelop a methou foi solving, anu they iequiieu an

application of the content to solve. The methous I uevelopeu weie infoimeu by the

ieseaich fiom the liteiatuie, anu I uevelopeu methous to help stuuents think about math

on a highei level while builuing theii ability to ciitically think anu pioblem solve. In oiuei

to uo this I kept the following goals in minu: (a) stuuents neeu to be taskeu to solve

pioblems that effectively engage theii woiking memoiy, (b) stuuents will be iequiieu to

make use of pioof in theii woik, (c) stuuents will neeu to mathematize pioblems insteau of

blinuly applying concepts, anu (u) stuuents will neeu to own theii uiscoveiy of the content.

Literature Review

Utilizing Students Working Memory

What is Woiking Nemoiy. 0nueistanuing how the biain piocesses mathematics is

an essential pait of ueveloping effective instiuction. Reseaich suggests that in oiuei to

activate stuuents' ciitical thinking anu pioblem solving skills, stuuents' cognitive loau

neeus to be appiopiiate given the task. Rathei than focusing on the way in which stuuents

piocess, oiganize, anu ietiieve incoming infoimation, the focus neeus to shift towaius the

type of cognitive loau that stuuents encountei (Chinnappan & Chanulei, 2u1u). Theie aie

thiee types of memoiy that aie activateu when leaining takes place: sensoiy, woiking, anu

long teim memoiy. Sensoiy memoiy incluues the visual anu auuitoiy stimulations that

stuuents encountei. Woiking memoiy (WN) involves being consciously awaie of what one

is woiking with, anu theie aie limitations in the foim of capacity anu uuiation that inhibit

how much a peison can piocess at a given time. Long teim memoiy (LTN), on the othei

hanu, has limitless capacity, anu this is wheie stuuents stoie theii math knowleuge anu

pioblem solving stiategies (Chinnappan & Chanulei, 2u1u).

Schema Bevelopment's Role* The schemas that aie foimeu in the biain can seive to

make the stoiage anu ietiieval in LTN easiei. Beveloping stiong schemas involves

ueveloping stiong connections with math knowleuge anu a stuuent's piioi knowleuge

(Chinnappan & Chanulei, 2u1u). Builuing on those connections helps to ieuuce the stiain

on the woiking memoiy which, in tuin, helps stuuents utilize that infoimation moie ieauily

uuiing pioblem solving (Chinnappan & Chanulei, 2u1u). 0nueistanuing the impoitance of

ueveloping soliu schemas means that instiuction can be cateieu to help piomote that

uevelopment in stuuents.

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Reuucing Cognitive 0veiloau* The ultimate goal shoulu be to avoiu cognitive

oveiloau because if cognitive loau is too high, unnecessaiy stiain is put on the stuuents'

woiking memoiy. Theie aie thiee types of cognitive piocesses that can tiiggei cognitive

oveiloau; intiinsic loau, extianeous loau, anu geimane loau (Chinnappan & Chanulei,

2u1u). Intiinsic loau ielates to the complexity of a task, wheieas extianeous loau iefeis to

the foimat being utilizeu in ueliveiy. Nemoiization tasks, foi example, iequiie low

intiinsic loau. When uiiections on an assignment aie uncleai to the ieauei, heavy

extianeous loau occuis, anu this ieuuces the available cognitive iesouices available to the

stuuent (Chinnappan & Chanulei, 2u1u). ueimane loau involves the effoit exeiteu in

schema uevelopment anu automation. Pioviuing stuuents with oppoitunities to justify

theii solutions contiibutes to stuuents stiengthening theii schema constiucts (Chinnappan

& Chanulei, 2u1u). Reuucing the amount of extianeous loau while incieasing the geimane

activity foi stuuents will help builu theii schemas which will, in tuin, help them in pioblem

solving tasks (Chinnappan & Chanulei, 2u1u). Belping stuuents builu schemas allows them

to easily ietiieve pioceuuial anu conceptual math knowleuge, anu that easy ietiieval will

help them uevote moie of theii woiking memoiy to solving the pioblem at hanu.

Nath Nemoiies* Theie aie two main types of mathematical long teim memoiies;

pioceuuial knowleuge anu conceptual knowleuge. Pioceuuial knowleuge is tieu closely

with algoiithms, wheieas conceptual knowleuge ielates to an unueistanuing of

mathematical ielationships (Klotsopoulos, 2uu7). It is impoitant that stuuents aie askeu

to activate both foims of knowleuge, because when it comes to unueistanuing

multiplication facts, foi example, stuuents use uiffeient piocesses to evaluate !!! than they

uo to evaluate !!! (Klotsopoulos, 2uu7). The mechanical opeiations involveu with solving

these pioblems aie accesseu uiffeiently: as is the conceptual unueistanuing that the

commutative piopeity means that the two pioblems aie equal. Fiom this example, it can

be concluueu that teaching to both the conceptual anu pioceuuial piocesses is piuuent

when builuing schemas, so that stuuents aie able to make the most effective use of theii

woiking memoiy.

Mathematization

0sing 0pen Enueu Tasks. Pioviuing stuuents with open enueu tasks has been founu

to help stuuents constiuct uouble siueu mathematical meaning both conceptually anu

pioceuuially. Aftei pioviuing stuuents with open enueu tasks, they weie then askeu to

constiuct a mouel of a house by fiist uiawing theii stiuctuie anu then builuing it with

sticks (NcKnight & Nulligan, 2u1u). Thiough executing this task stuuents weie able to

iecognize anu make use of patteins anu stiuctuie while explaining theii woik (NcKnight &

Nulligan, 2u1u). This example of an open enueu task activateu theii highei oiuei thinking

skills, anu helps to builu stiong schemas of math knowleuge in stuuents' biains.

Anothei outline foi builuing effective math instiuction lays out the giounuwoik

with which teacheis can engage stuuents anu help them make meaningful connections.

Fiist a guiuing question shoulu be establisheu that will motivate the lesson (Stack, Watson,

Binuley, Samson, & Bevlin, 2u1u). Following the guiueu question, the instiuctoi taps into

what stuuents alieauy know as a means to builu on stuuents' knowleuge (Stack et al, 2u1u).

Next any ielevant teiminology shoulu be piesenteu as to intiouuce stuuents to the

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 4

Rising Tide Volume 5 4

peitinent vocabulaiy (Stack et al, 2u1u). This is followeu by stuuents establishing

meaning of the content which leaus into using that meaning to analyze anu woik with

authentic pioblems (Stack et al, 2u1u). By using this methou foi ueliveiing instiuction,

teacheis can fostei the uevelopment of ciitical thinking by engaging stuuents in authentic

application of theii constiucteu meanings.

Questioning on the Right Level. 0ne methou to help stuuents constiuct theii own

meanings is the use of appiopiiate mathematical questioning. In oiuei to piepaie stuuents

to use highei oiuei thinking skills, they neeu to be piompteu to answei highei oiuei

questions. To uelve ueepei into the mannei of asking questions theie aie foui categoiies

that neeu to be exploieu: (a) staitei questions that aie open enueu anu pioviue a jump

stait foi stuuent thinking, (b) questions that stimulate mathematical thinking in oiuei to

assist stuuents to connect stiategies anu concepts, (c) assessment questions aim at

piompting stuuents to justify what anu why they aie solving, anu (u) uiscussion questions

that biing the class togethei to evaluate woik being uone collectively (Way, 2uu8). These

questions oveilap with Bloom's Taxonomy anu they stiive to help stuuents use theii highei

oiuei thinking skills.

Nathematizing* Anothei stiategy that can be useu to engage stuuents in highei

oiuei thinking skills is mathematizing ieal woilu pioblems. Nathematizing a ieal woilu

pioblem consist of taking a ieal woilu pioblem anu looking foi peitinent infoimation,

ielating that infoimation to a mathematical mouel, finuing a mathematical iesult,

inteipieting that iesult in teims of the ieal woilu context, anu finally, evaluating how well

the mouel fits the context. Theie aie two possible ways to incoipoiate ieal woilu pioblems

that iequiie mathematizing, eithei befoie oi aftei foimal instiuction of content (Yoon,

Bieyfus, & Thomas, 2u1u). Pioblems that aie useu as a pait of this methou aie iefeiieu to

as Nouel-Eliciting Activities. They aie uesigneu to iesemble ieal woilu situations while

facilitating mathematical uiscoveiy. Typically, math text books use these types of pioblems

to pioviue stuuents with the oppoitunity to mimic pioblem solving stiategies alieauy

establisheu in the text. When this occuis, stuuents aie meiely applying an alieauy thought-

out solution without engaging in any ieal pioblem solving (Yoon et al, 2u1u). Insteau,

these pioblems shoulu be intiouuceu at the beginning of instiuction in oiuei to pioviue an

oppoitunity foi those stuuents to uncovei mathematical mateiial in the piocess of solving

the pioblem (Yoon et al, 2u1u). This type of piesentation of authentic ielevant pioblems

pioviues stuuents with an oppoitunity to connect the math concepts they aie leaining

about to the ieal woilu as a means to make sense of pioblems by making use of mouel

geneializations at appiopiiate content levels (Yoon et al, 2u1u).

These ieseaicheis wanteu to assess the valiuity of the statement that Nouel-

Eliciting Activities aie only useful when piesenteu befoie instiuction by piesenting a

Nouel-Eliciting Activities to calculus stuuents aftei they ieceiveu instiuction in integials.

Because the pioblem that was not piesenteu to the stuuents was in a way that woulu

ieuuce it to iote application, they weie still able to take pait in the mathematizing piocess

(Yoon et al, 2u1u). This establishes that the timing that Nouel-Eliciting Activities aie

implementeu uoes not mattei. As long as the Nouel-Eliciting Activities aie piesenteu so

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking S

Rising Tide Volume 5 S

that stuuents aie not able to easily iecognize anu apply ielevant concepts, they will be

iequiieu to mathematize, anu the piocess is successful (Yoon et al, 2u1u).

Stuuents aie also able to constiuct theii own unueistanuing thiough the leaining by

uoing a mouel. 0sing the six piinciples foi instiuctional uesign, instiuctois can move away

fiom lowei oiuei mathematics. The six piinciples aie: 1) focus on statistical iueas, 2) use

motivating uata to engage stuuents, S) use activities to suppoit stuuent ieasoning, 4)

incoipoiate technology into instiuction, S) piomote classioom uiscussion anu exchanging

iueas, anu 6) use assessments to monitoi stuuent impiovement (uaifielu & Ben-Zvi, 2uu9).

The teachei's iole then becomes one of facilitating uiscussion, piesenting pioblems, anu

engaging stuuents in constiucting theii own unueistanuing (uaifielu & Ben-Zvi, 2uu9).

Waving the Proof Wand

Piove It. vaiious stiategies have been exploieu in the liteiatuie which shaie

common themes. Whethei the stiategies piesent ways to pioviue visual aius to make

connections between concepts, have stuuents engage in collaboiative pioblem solving

activities, oi make use of effective questioning techniques, all of these stiategies aie meant

to impiove stuuents' cognitive piocesses, in oiuei to builu ciitical thinking anu pioblem

solving uisposition anu ability. 0ne such appioach encompasses the use of mathematical

pioof as a pait of the school cuiiiculum. uough (2u1u) questions whethei math instiuction

shoulu become light on the pioofs. Be explains that even though foimal pioofs can be

oveily abstiact foi beginning level stuuents, the piocess of establishing a hypothesis,

testing that hypothesis, anu uefenuing one's conjectuie is what pioving amounts to. Be

suggests that as long as stuuents engage in logical uefenses of theii iesults, instiuction will

cease to be iote anu stuuents will uevelop the ability to communicate theii unueistanuing

in meaningful contexts (uough, 2u1u).

It's a Kinu of Nagic. 0ne pioblem that exists in iote math instiuctional settings

occuis when stuuents tieat mathematical opeiations as magical motions wheie symbols

anu vaiiables move within an equation with a flick of the wiist. When stuuents exhibit this

type of thinking it becomes cleai that they have not been able to connect the conceptual

unueistanuing with the mechanical opeiations (ue Lima & Tall, 2uu8). The goal of

instiuction neeus to be facilitating the link between the abstiact concepts anu how that

tianslates to opeiations (ue Lima & Tall, 2uu8). If this link is not emphasizeu, then

stuuents will only think of solving an equation in teims moving items without an

unueistanuing as to why those motions aie taking place (ue Lima & Tall, 2uu8). This link

can be stiengtheneu by tapping into stuuents' piioi knowleuge anu connecting the abstiact

with the physical opeiations (ue Lima & Tall, 2uu8). Tasking stuuents to suppoit theii

ieasoning helps them take on the iole of the magician iathei than the tiickeu auuience.

Engaging Students in Math Discovery

Builuing Bisposition* Beveloping schemas to help stiengthen stuuents' ability to

connect mathematical unueistanuings anu builu theii ability to pioblem solve is impoitant,

but that ability means little if stuuents uo not have a uisposition to use that ability. Foi this

ieason ieseaich has taken place in the aiea of impioving stuuents' uisposition to pioblem

solve anu think ciitically. Ceitain uispositions essential foi effective ciitical thinking

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 6

Rising Tide Volume 5 6

incluue: being intellectually caieful, seeking anu evaluating ieasons, being metacognitive,

being auventuious anu cuiious, anu seeking unueistanuing (Leauei & Niuuleton, 2uu4).

Thus the act of thinking ciitically iequiies sensitivity (awaieness), inclination (motivation),

anu ability (skill to uo something about it) (Leauei & Niuuleton, 2uu4). Reseaich has

suggesteu that stuuents peifoim bettei with iegaiu to theii ability to engage in ciitical

thinking. Theiefoie, the liteiatuie is focuseu on uncoveiing what can be uone to impiove

stuuents' awaieness anu motivation with iegaiu to iuentifying situations wheie ciitical

thinking is iequiieu (Leauei & Niuuleton, 2uu4). In an effoit to uncovei what can be uone,

ieseaicheis lookeu at how stuuents' attituue affects theii uisposition to ciitically think.

Reseaicheis exploieu what attituues aie tiiggeieu when pioblem solving situations

aiose (Leauei & Niuuleton, 2uu4). Because attituues tiiggei spontaneous iesponses in the

biain, those memoiies affect stuuents' motivation. This means that in oiuei foi stuuents to

engage in uelibeiate piocessing, oppoitunities to ciitically think must be piesent anu

stuuents must have motivation to uo so (Leauei & Niuuleton, 2uu4). Pioviuing meaningful

oppoitunities to engage in ciitical thinking can help stuuents builu stiong uispositions anu

maintain positive attituues towaius the activity. It is impoitant to keep in minu five factois

that help to ueteimine the type of attituues that can be tiiggeieu when constiucting

meaningful oppoitunities foi stuuents: uiiect expeiiences, sensoiy expeiiences, emotional

ieactions, fieely chosen behavioi, anu attituue ieheaisal (Leauei & Niuuleton, 2uu4). By

having these five factois in minu when planning, teacheis can help builu stuuent

uisposition to engage in ciitical pioblem solving.

Piomoting Stuuent 0wneiship* Anothei way that teacheis can impiove stuuent

uisposition towaius solving math pioblems is to offei challenging pioblems that iequiie

logical ieasoning. With these types of pioblems the fiist step woulu be to quantify the

pioblem in abstiact teims, then to connect the concept with geneializations, anu finally to

continue to question in oiuei to aiiive at moie poweiful conclusions (Chang, 2uu9). These

pioblems help to piepaie stuuents to think mathematically, which helps them builu on

theii ability to tiansfei theii knowleuge to uiffeient contexts (Chang, 2uu9).

Anothei means to piomote meaningful leaining is thiough the use of manipulatives

to iepiesent mathematical concepts. Stuuents with leaining uisabilities often have

uifficulty with spatial awaieness (peiceptual skills), vocabulaiy anu woiu pioblems

(language skills), abstiaction anu highei level uevelopment (ieasoning skills), anu

iemembeiing symbols (memoiy skills). When stuuents stiuggle in these foui aieas,

obtaining masteiy in mathematics becomes uifficult (Little, 2uu9). As the following

stiategy was uevelopeu to suppoit stuuents with leaining uisabilities, I piopose that any

methou that is uevelopeu to suppoit these stuuents can suppoit any leainei of

mathematics. In oiuei to help stuuents impiove these skills the authois exploieu a

methou of uiffeientiateu mathematics instiuction known as Conciete-Repiesentational-

Abstiact (CRA). This methou makes use of conciete manipulative use as a means to

iepiesent complex math concepts (Little, 2uu9). 0nce the iepiesentation is establisheu,

stuuents biiuge the conciete with the abstiact concept (Little, 2uu9). 0nce the biiuge is

foimeu stuuents aie able to make sense of the figuies anu giasp the abstiact explanations

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(Little, 2uu9). This methou of instiuction helps empowei stuuents by pioviuing access to

effective math instiuction.

Anothei methou that makes use of visual iepiesentations is something that

Afamasaga-Fuata'i (2uu8) calls a vee-uiagiam. The goal of a vee-uiagiam is to pioviue

stuuents with an avenue to analyze the stiuctuie of a pioblem (Afamasaga-Fuata'i, 2uu8).

Stuuents ieflect thioughout the pioblem solving piocess as they justify theii steps while

making connections between concepts (Afamasaga-Fuata'i, 2uu8). When constiucting this

type of concept map stuuents aie constantly connecting iueas anu builuing on theii ability

to evaluate the appiopiiateness of the steps they take when solving.

Aftei a visual iepiesentation hau been establisheu, the use of mathematical tasks

took place, in oiuei to facilitate stuuent leaining in a high school anu unueigiauuate

setting. The goal was to impiove stuuent motivation thiough establishing ielevance

between the math anu the stuuents' uaily lives (Sezei, 2u1u). Staiting with using ieal

woilu pioblems, so that stuuents coulu see how math was applicable anu moving to the

next level wheie emphasis was placeu on the pioblem solving piocess, iathei than simply

finuing a solution (Sezei, 2u1u). Stuuents stiuggleu at fiist to make the tiansition to

owning the pioblem solving iesponsibility, but as the couise piogiesseu they iealizeu that

they weie being helu to high expectations (Sezei, 2u1u). In not tiansfeiiing the piofessoi's

woik anu builuing theii own unueistanuing, the stuuents weie able to woik togethei, in a

leaining community, to gain a ueepei unueistanuing anu confiuence with mathematics that

hau not been expeiienceu pieviously (Sezei, 2u1u). This expeiience helpeu stuuents builu

theii ability to unueistanu math anu communicate that unueistanuing effectively.

This iuea of helping stuuents constiuct theii own unueistanuing is especially

impoitant foi stuuents with special neeus. In lowei level math classes, stuuents have not

been exposeu to the possibilities that math holu foi them. They have known math to be a

uifficult anu iiielevant subject, so as a teachei it is impoitant to incoipoiate activities that

help the stuuents iealize that math is moie than numbeis anu symbols (Bill, 2u1u). When

stuuents aie actively engageu in meaningful anu ielevant activities math can become a

positive pait of theii lives (Bill, 2u1u). It is impoitant to pioviue stuuents access to a

leaining enviionment that is iich, iigoious, anu ielevant (Bill, 2u1u).

Conclusion

Aftei ieviewing the ielevant liteiatuie on the subject, common themes that aie

piesent can be encapsulateu to say that math instiuction shoulu builu stiong connections

in stuuents' cognitive piocesses by offeiing authentic, meaningful, anu challenging pioblem

solving oppoitunities that will activate stuuents' highei oiuei thinking skills while

impioving stuuents' uisposition to think ciitically.

Methods

uiven the ieseaich that I have compileu fiom the liteiatuie, I was able to execute

action ieseaich that maue use of pioblems that effectively engageu stuuents' woiking

memoiy, hau stuuents mathematize pioblems, iequiieu stuuents to use pioof, anu

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 8

Rising Tide Volume 5 8

pioviueu stuuents with oppoitunities to uiscovei the content. With these foui piinciples in

minu thioughout my action stiategy, my goal was to impiove stuuents' abilities to ciitically

think anu pioblem solve with the mathematics content. The stuuents with whom I woikeu

weie fiom Nis. Reynolus' foui Inteimeuiate Algebia classes; two Ceitificate of Neiit (CN)

anu two Stanuaiu (S). The majoiity of these stuuents weie in the 9

th

anu 1u

th

giaues with a

mixtuie of 11

th

anu 12

th

giaue stuuents incluueu. In two of the classes a substantial

numbei of stuuents ieceiveu special euucation accommouations, anu theie was a special

euucation suppoit teachei piesent.

The ieseaich question that I sought to answei as a iesult of implementing this

action stiategy is as follows: Will asking stuuents highei oiuei questions, having stuuents

uevelop theii own stiategies foi solving pioblems, anu iequiiing stuuents to piove theii

iesults impiove theii acquisition anu unueistanuing of the content, theii ability to pioblem

solve, anu theii uisposition towaius pioblem solving. I wanteu to impiove how well they

weie leaining, anu I useu those thiee themes to uo this while optimizing stuuents' woiking

memoiy thioughout.

In oiuei to test my ieseaich question, I implementeu a stiategy wheie I askeu

highei oiuei questions, pioviueu oppoitunities foi stuuents to solve pioblems, anu taskeu

stuuents to piove theii woik at eveiy tuin. In oiuei to ensuie that I was not putting unuue

cognitive loau on my stuuents, I maue suie that all uiiections weie cleai anu focuseu.

To make suie that I followeu thiough with my stiategy I embeuueu at least thiee

highei-oiuei questions into eveiy lesson. I anticipateu these questions to be useu as

extension questions to help steei the stuuents towaius theii peisonal uiscoveiy. The

questions iequiieu stuuents to analyze, synthesize, anu evaluate the mathematics they

weie woiking with, anu in this way, the questions leu stuuents to think about math moie

ueeply. Examples of these types of questions aie as follows: "What uoes it mean to piove

something to someone.," "Why is it haiu to piove things.," anu "What woulu it take to

piove something to you."

To make suie that stuuents hau ample oppoitunities to engage in pioblem solving

activities, I uevoteu one uay a week to having stuuents woik in paiis solving ieal woilu

pioblems that iequiieu them to apply theii content knowleuge in a uiffeient context.

Buiing these pioblem solving tasks, I uiu not give uiiect answeis. If stuuents askeu me

questions peitaining to the pioblem they aie woiking on, I woulu not pioviue assistance

othei than asking open enueu questions meant to piovoke thought foi the stuuents. I

wanteu to make suie that they weie coming up with the answeis on theii own. The most

suppoit I pioviueu was to ask leauing questions, but the main focus was foi them to woik

with theii paitneis so that they coulu bounce iueas off of each othei. The gioups weie

chosen by the stuuents because I felt that woulu help stuuents feel moie comfoitable as

they woikeu to solve the uifficult pioblems.

To ensuie that stuuents weie taskeu with justifying theii woik with pioof, I

embeuueu justification questions in all of theii assignments. I constantly askeu them, with

an aii of skepticism, why theii answeis weie coiiect anu why theii math woikeu. I wanteu

them to unueistanu the impoitance of pioving theii woik, so I woikeu on keeping them

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 9

Rising Tide Volume 5 9

honest to make suie they coulu pioviue justification. That was uone to impiove theii

ability to synthesize theii knowleuge, anu it helpeu to allow them to ieflect on theii

pioblem solving piocess. The main iuea was foi them to always know why the math that

they weie peifoiming uiu what it uiu anu why it woikeu (oi uiu not woik).

In oiuei to measuie the effectiveness of my teaching stiategies, I auministeieu

pietests anu posttests to the stuuents. The tests weie taken fiom the SNCPS benchmaik

assessment anu incluueu mateiial that was coveieu ovei the couise of the unit. The pie-

test was auministeieu befoie any instiuction on the mateiial, anu the post-test was taken

aftei the implementation of the action stiategy. In this way I was able to use a t-test

analysis to confiim the effectiveness that my stiategy hau on my stuuents' peifoimance.

I also submitteu suiveys befoie anu aftei the action stiategy was implementeu. The

suivey measuieu the effect that the stiategy hau on stuuents' attituues anu uisposition

towaius mathematics anu pioblem solving thiough the use of a Likeit-type scale. In

auuition to the pietests, posttests, anu affective suiveys, I also kept iecoiu of my stuuents'

peifoimance on pioblem solving tasks that I assigneu uuiing the stiategy implementation.

This pioviueu anothei measuiement of stuuent peifoimance uuiing the piocess.

Thiough those methous of uata collection, I was able to evaluate how well my

stiategy woikeu in teims of impioving my stuuents' acquisition of anu peifoimance with

the mathematics content, as well as theii uisposition anu ability to pioblem solve anu think

ciitically.

Findings

Aftei analyzing the uata that was collecteu, I have founu, baseu on the thiee

elements of my ieseaich question, that; (a) the action stiategy significantly impioveu

stuuents' acquisition anu unueistanuing of the content, (b) the stiategy hau a mostly

positive impact on my stuuents' ability to pioblem solve, anu (c) the stiategy hau negative

iesults in impioving stuuents' uisposition towaius pioblem solving.

Acquisition and Understanding of the Content

In analyzing the iesults fiom the pietest anu posttest I examineu all foui of the

classes sepaiately, the two CN classes anu the two Stanuaiu classes togethei, anu all foui

classes togethei. All thiee bieakuowns showeu significant giowth in theii content

knowleuge fiom the pietest to the posttest.

Table 1

Pietest Posttest Analysis 1

Pretest Posttest Growth p-value

First Period (CM) 2.846 6.692 3.846 2.23E-05

Fourth Period (CM) 4.1 6.1 2 0.000298

Second Period 3.588 6.294 2.705 0.000104

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 1u

Rising Tide Volume 5 1u

Sixth Period 3.8235 6.176 2.352 0.000252

Certificate of Merit 3.606 6.333 2.72 7.92E-08

Standard 3.705 6.264 2.558 5.13E-08

All Classes 3.656 6.313 2.656 5.91E-13

Note: The tool that was useu as the pietest anu posttest in Figuie 1. The test hau ten

multiple choice items, anu 67 stuuents' scoies aie incluueu in this analysis.

See Appenuix A as it contains the fiist pie anu posttest. The test items 1, 2, S, 9, anu

1u peitain to the piopeities of exponents, items 4 anu S peitain to scientific notation, anu

items 6, 7, anu 8 peitain to using basic opeiations on polynomials. This test was

auministeieu to all classes befoie implementation of the action stiategy anu again about

thiee weeks aftei the inteivention.

All classes showeu giowth of moie than two points fiom pietest to posttest, anu

baseu on the single taileu type one t-test analysis, the giowth exhibiteu by all classes was

significant (See Table 1). The giowth that took place foi each question foi all classes was

also examineu (See Table 2).

Table 2.

Item Analysis 1

Item

1

Item

2

Item

3

Item

4

Item

5

Item

6

Item

7

Item

8

Item

9

Item

10

Avg.

Pre-

Test

13% 20% 78% 51% 51% 23% 40% 33% 28% 48% 38%

Post-

Test

41% 58% 91% 79% 72% 63% 49% 50% 63% 87% 65%

Growth 28% 38% 13% 28% 21% 40% 9% 17% 35% 39% 27%

!"#$. The values in this table iepiesent that peicent of stuuents who answeieu each

question coiiectly. The aveiage column iepiesents the aveiage amount of stuuents that

answeieu all items coiiectly.

Items 2, 6, 9, anu 1u exhibiteu the most giowth among items. Items S, 7, anu 8 hau

little giowth, anu items 1, 4, anu S hau giowth that was closei to the aveiage. Connecting

these finuings to the objectives foi this unit, the items coiiesponuing to the piopeities of

exponents anu scientific notation showeu highei than aveiage giowth than uiu the items

linkeu to the basic opeiations on polynomials.

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 11

Rising Tide Volume 5 11

Bue to the timing of the inteivention, I was able to continue implementing my action

stiategy with the two CN classes foi anothei thiee weeks. That extia time alloweu me to

auministei a seconu iounu of pietests anu posttests to those classes. Those iesults as well

as the iesults fiom the test auministeieu to both classes befoie anu aftei the seconu unit

can be founu in Table S.

Table S.

Pretest Posttest Analysis 2

Pretest Posttest Growth p-value

First Period (CM) 3.07 8.40 5.33 3.62E-08

Fourth Period (CM) 2.84 9.42 6.58 2.41E-13

Both Classes 2.94 8.97 6.03 1.59E-19

!"#$. See Appenuix B foi the test that was useu foi the seconu unit. It also containeu ten

multiple choice questions. A total of S4 stuuents' scoies aie incluueu in this analysis. These

stuuents weie also a pait of the 67 fiom the fiist pie anu posttest analysis.

Scoies in both classes incieaseu aiounu six points, anu all giowth was shown to be

significant. I again analyzeu the giowth that took place foi each item to ueteimine the

objectives with which stuuents uiu bettei (Table 4). See Appenuix B. In it, test items one

anu two peitain to the uivision of polynomials, items thiee thiough six peitain to factoiing

out the gieatest common factoi, anu items seven thiough ten peitain to factoiing the

polynomials completely.

Table 4.

Item Analysis 2

Item

1

Item

2

Item

3

Item

4

Item

5

Item

6

Item

7

Item

8

Item

9

Item

10

Avg.

Pre-

Test

43% 25% 20% 25% 22% 42% 20% 34% 20% 25% 28%

Post-

Test

97% 83% 94% 97% 94% 91% 89% 91% 86% 70% 89%

Growth 54% 58% 74% 72% 72% 49% 69% 57% 66% 45% 61%

!"#$% The values in this table iepiesent the peicent of stuuents who answeieu that

question coiiectly. The aveiage column iepiesents the aveiage amount of stuuents that

answeieu all items coiiectly

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 12

Rising Tide Volume 5 12

As seen in the table above, foi items thiee, foui, anu five the peicentage of stuuents

who got these coiiect incieaseu, theie was a lowei peicentage foi items six anu ten, anu

items one, two, seven, eight, anu nine all hau peicentages neai the aveiage. It is cleai that

stuuents uiu well with all of the topics; howevei theie weie elements of factoiing out the

gieatest common factoi anu factoiing completely that stuuents uiu not uo as well with. As a

whole, it appeais that stuuents maue significant giowth in unueistanuing the content as a

iesult of my action stiategy.

Stuuent Ability to Pioblem Solve

All foui classes completeu thiee peifoimance tasks which uealt with the piopeities

of exponents, scientific notation, anu polynomials, iespectively. }ust as the extia time

alloweu me to auministei anothei set of pie anu posttests to the two CN classes, I was also

able to auministei an auuitional task to those classes ielateu to factoiing. The iesults foi

each can be founu in tables S, 6, 7, anu 8.

Table S.

First Period Performance

First Period (CM) Exponent Properties Scientific Notation Polynomial Factoring

Average Percent 46.25 % 92.94 % 70.25 % 76.39 %

p-value 1.79929E-06 0.02 0.19

Table 6.

Fourth Period Performance

Fourth Period (CM) Exponent Properties Scientific Notation Polynomial Factoring

Average Percent 56.44 % 62.25 % 73.95 % 65.79 %

p-value 0.42 0.11 0.24

Table 7.

Second Period Performance

Second Period Exponent Properties Scientific Notation Polynomial

Average Percent 40.17 % 65.20 % 67.26 %

p-value 0.06 0.24

Table 8.

Sixth Period Performance

Sixth Period Exponent Properties Scientific Notation Polynomial

Average Percent 18.68 % 69.33 % 75.87 %

p-value 1.94729E-06 0.06

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 1S

Rising Tide Volume 5 1S

!"#$% Each class ieceiveu the same tasks foi each topic. Stuuents in eveiy class weie given

the option to woik in gioups of vaiying sizes, anu often stuuents who woikeu togethei

woulu ieceive similai scoies. Stuuents who weie absent when the tasks weie given weie

excuseu anu not incluueu in the class aveiages oi the t-test analysis.

Foi the most pait theie was a positive piogiession fiom one task to anothei. In all

classes scoies incieaseu fiom the fiist task to the seconu. Foi the two stanuaiu classes

scoies incieaseu continuously fiom the fiist task to the thiiu; howevei the two CN classes

hau mixeu iesults. Fiist peiiou uiu woise fiom the seconu task to the thiiu anu bettei fiom

the thiiu to the fouith task, while fouith peiiou uiu bettei fiom the seconu task to the thiiu

anu woise fiom the thiiu to the fouith. Theie may not have been uefinitive giowth

thioughout the peifoimance tasks, but in all cases theie was positive giowth fiom the fiist

task to the final task. The foui tasks can be founu in Appenuix C, B, E, anu F. I cieateu all

foui tasks with a focus on optimizing stuuents' woiking memoiy.

Stuuents Bisposition towaius Pioblem Solving

Aftei analyzing the iesults fiom the suivey that stuuents took befoie anu aftei the

implementation of my action stiategy, I founu that theie was no positive oveiall giowth on

any of the eight items between the pie-suivey anu post-suivey iesults. The suivey that was

auministeieu can be founu in Appenuix u.

The items on that suivey weie stiuctuieu in an attempt to gauge how well my action

stiategy impioveu stuuent's confiuence in theii ability to iecognize the math neeueu to

solve pioblems anu theii ability to use the math neeueu to solve pioblems, as well as the

extent to which they view math as a ielevant tool that can be useu to solve pioblems in the

ieal woilu. Because the stuuents iemaineu anonymous thioughout the suiveying piocess, I

was unable to match inuiviuual stuuents' pietest with theii posttest.

Table 9.

&'()"('#'"* ,-./$0 1*230('(

Class

Pretest (out of 32) Posttest (out of 32) Growth p-value

First (CM)

22.38 17.06 -5.32 0.01

Fourth (CM)

23.43 24.26 0.83 0.32

Second

21.17 18.41 -2.75 0.07

Sixth

21.61 21.61 0.00 0.50

All 22.19 20.42 -1.78 0.04

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 14

Rising Tide Volume 5 14

!"#$% Theie weie 7S stuuents who took the pie-suivey anu 7S stuuents who took the post-

suivey. The eight items on the suivey weie scoieu on a scale fiom one to foui foi a possible

scoie of S2. Items that weie woiueu negatively (items thiee, foui, seven, anu eight), weie

ieveise scoieu to ensuie an accuiate uepiction of stuuent iesponses.

As seen in Table 9, foi fiist anu seconu peiious, anu all foui classes as a whole, theie

was a significant uecline in scoies fiom the pietest to the post test. Sixth peiiou hau no

giowth, anu fouith peiiou's giowth was not significant. This means that my stiategy uiu

not impiove stuuent uisposition, anu, in fact, my stiategy actually woiseneu stuuents'

uisposition towaius pioblem solving.

Interpretations

Acquisition anu 0nueistanuing of the Content

Fiom the finuings above, I am confiuent that I was able to answei the fiist pait of my

ieseaich question. Asking stuuents highei oiuei questions, having stuuents uevelop theii

own stiategies foi solving pioblems, anu iequiiing stuuents to piove theii iesults uiu

impiove theii acquisition anu unueistanuing of the content. Not only was theie significant

giowth foi both sets of pietests anu posttests, but theie was giowth in each topic that was

coveieu ovei the couise of the implementation.

Theie was veiy little uistinction between the peifoimances of CN stuuents

compaieu to Stanuaiu stuuents, as both gioups maue similai giowth with the Stanuaiu

classes out almost out peifoiming theii CN peeis. This suppoits my belief that all levels of

stuuents can benefit fiom being exposeu to challenging anu uifficult questions anu

pioblems. In challenging stuuents with mateiial that exceeus the expectations set foith by a

stanuaiuizeu assessment, I was able to ovei piepaie them foi the posttest. Compaieu to the

highei oiuei questions anu the challenging peifoimance tasks, the items on the posttest

pioveu to be less uifficult foi my stuuents.

Student Ability to Problem Solve

Asking stuuents highei oiuei questions, having stuuents uevelop theii own

stiategies foi solving pioblems, anu iequiiing stuuent to piove theii iesults uiu impiove

theii ability to pioblem solve. The iesults weie not significant, but theie was an oveiall

inciease in the stuuents' peifoimance on the tasks.

Some of that giowth coulu be attiibuteu to the stuuents' familiaiity with my

expectations with iegaius to the level of uetail in theii answeis. Stuuents hau been

assigneu similai peifoimance tasks eailiei in the school yeai, but those tasks weie only

auministeieu at the enu of eveiy quaitei. Those tasks weie also moie stiuctuieu with

moie components. In both Stanuaiu classes anu my fouith peiiou class, theie was

continuous giowth taking place fiom one peifoimance task to anothei. The uecline in

peifoimance that was exhibiteu by fiist anu fouith peiiou in the last couple of tasks coulu

peihaps be attiibuteu to a uiffeience in uifficulty between the pioblems.

The fiist task pioveu to be the most uifficult, anu it was not immeuiately cleai to

stuuents what was expecteu oi how what they leaineu connecteu to this pioblem. The

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 1S

Rising Tide Volume 5 1S

seconu pioblem iequiieu the same basic opeiations as the fiist, but the pioblem was moie

similai to othei pioblems that they hau been faceu with, especially those iegaiuing iates

with money ovei a peiiou of time. I woulu evaluate the thiiu anu fouith tasks to be the

most effective in connecting the mateiial to moie authentic pioblems. As the

implementation piogiesseu, I uiu become bettei at ciafting the pioblems (as seen in the

uiffeience in uiiections fiom the fiist task to the iest of the tasks).

I think that the use of gioups influenceu the stuuents' peifoimance on the pioblems.

In giving stuuents a choice in theii gioups, I openeu the possibility that ineffective gioups

coulu exist. Bespite my constant attempts to keep gioups on task, theie weie multiple

occasions wheie gioup membeis weie not being as piouuctive as they coulu have been. It

is my belief that stuuents uiu not take the piocess seiiously anu woulu wait in hopes that I

woulu walk them thiough the piocess. Since owneiship of the pioblem was theiis alone,

they uiu not ieceive the help that they hau come to expect, anu theii scoies ieflecteu the

lack initiative (iesulting in zeios on a few occasions).

That lack of initiative stiuck me as an alaiming pioblem. As numeious stuuents tolu

me, "You'ie a bau teachei, you'ie not helping us." This ieaction occuiieu when stuuents

became fiustiateu with the pioblem. It seems that they vieweu teacheis as the sole

suppliei of infoimation anu answeis in the classioom. In not pioviuing them with the

uiiest assistance they sought, I tiansfeiieu moie of the onus to the stuuents. I think that

anothei pait of the initiative pioblem stemmeu fiom an ineffectiveness to establish that

these pioblems weie woith solving. No uoubt all of the pioblems maue the stuuents think

about math in a uiffeient way, but some of the pioblems may not have been as meaningful

to them as they shoulu have been.

Students Disposition towards Problem Solving

Regaiuing the thiiu pait of my ieseaich question, asking stuuents highei oiuei

questions, iequiiing stuuents to uevelop theii own stiategies foi solving pioblems, anu

iequiiing stuuents to piove theii iesults uiu not impiove theii uisposition towaius

pioblem solving. In fact, my stiategy pioveu to significantly woisen the uisposition of my

stuuents.

Those iesults ieflect finuings fiom Leauei anu Niuuleton (2uu4) who uiscusseu

how iesponses in the biain can foim stuuents' attituues iegaiuing pioblem solving tasks.

The stuuents became fiustiateu eaily on in the piocess, anu I believe that was tiiggeieu to

pievious expeiiences with uifficult anu seemingly insuimountable pioblems they faceu in

math. A significant poition of my stuuents hau faileu the Algebia BSA, anu being placeu in

Inteimeuiate Algebia suggests that the stuuent was not successful enough in Algebia to

move onto ueometiy oi Algebia II. Nany stuuents have not hau the most positive

expeiiences with mathematics. Foi that ieason, it makes sense that they woulu have a

negative ieaction to challenging anu uifficult questions anu pioblems, anu as a iesult a

uecieaseu uisposition towaius pioblem solving.

This uoes not suggest that stuuents shoulu not be taskeu to answei oi solve those

uifficult questions anu pioblems, howevei. The implementation those questions anu

pioblems shoulu be conuucive to fosteiing a safe anu positive enviionment foi the

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 16

Rising Tide Volume 5 16

stuuents. The absolute way that stuuents will have a positive uisposition towaius pioblem

solving is foi them to have positive expeiiences with solving meaningful pioblems.

Conclusion

Buiing the beginning of my inteinship, I noticeu that my stuuents founu it uifficult

to ciitically think oi pioblem solve effectively. By asking highei oiuei questions, iequiiing

stuuents to uevelop theii own methou foi solving pioblems, anu iequiiing them to piove

theii iesults, I sought to impiove my stuuents' ability to ciitically think anu pioblem solve

within the content they weie leaining. Ny stiategy pioveu to be successful in impioving

stuuents unueistanuing of the content anu ability to pioblem solve.

This stuuy hau a few limitations, in that I was not the full time teachei, anu I was

only able to implement my stiategy foi a shoit peiiou of time. I also founu that I was

limiteu in my ability to effectively ciaft meaningful pioblems anu to establish ielevance foi

my stuuents. Bespite these limitations, I am still pleaseu with how this stuuy enueu, anu

have founu that the emphasis on ciitical thinking, pioblem solving, anu asking highei oiuei

questions will iemain as a staple in my futuie teaching.

The finuings fiom this stuuy suggest that stuuents at all levels aie capable of success

in an enviionment that is iich with highei oiuei questions anu engaging pioblem solving

oppoitunities. It is impoitant that those oppoitunities pioviue stuuents with positive

pioblem solving expeiiences, so that stuuents can see that pioblem solving is meaningful.

Eveiy stuuent shoulu be pusheu to think about uifficult anu impoitant questions anu

pioblems eveiy uay, because eveiy stuuent will have impoitant anu uifficult pioblems to

solve when they leave school.

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 17

Rising Tide Volume 5 17

+,-,&,.(,$

Afamasaga-Fuata'i, K. (2uu8). Stuuents' Conceptual 0nueistanuing anu Ciitical Thinking: A

Case foi Concept Naps anu vee-Biagiams in Nathematics Pioblem Solving.

1-(#.23'2* 42#5$62#'7( 8$275$.9 :;(2), 8-17.

Chang, N. -L. (2uu9). The Zeio-at-the-Enu Pioblem. 1-(#.23'2* ,$*'". 42#5$62#'7( <"-.*239

=>(2), 1S-17.

Chinnappan, N., & Chanulei, P. (2u1u). Nanaging Cognitive Loau in the Nathematics

Classioom. 1-(#.23'2* 42#5$62#'7( 8$275$.9 ::(1), S-11.

ue Lima, R. N., & Tall, B. (2uu8). Pioceuuial Embouiment anu Nagic in Lineai Equations.

?@-72#'"*23 ,#-@'$( '* 42#5$62#'7(9 :A(1), S-18.

uaifielu, }., & Ben-Zvi, B. (2uu9). Belping Stuuents Bevelop Statistical Reasoning:

Implementing a Statistical Reasoning Leaining Enviionment. 8$275'*B ,#2#'(#'7(C 1*

D*#$.*2#'"*23 <"-.*23 E". 8$275$.(9 >F(S), 72-77.

uough, }. (2u1u). Is Pioof Beau in the Computei-Age School Cuiiiculum. 1-(#.23'2* ,$*'".

42#5$62#'7( <"-.*239 =;(2), 4S-S4.

Bill, C. (2u1u). When Tiauitional Won't Bo: Expeiiences fiom a "Lowei-Level" Nathematics

Classioom. G3$2.'*B H"-($C 1 <"-.*23 "E ?@-72#'"*23 ,#.2#$B'$(9 D((-$( 2*@ D@$2(9

I>(6), 2S9-24S.

Leauei, L. F., & Niuuleton, }. A. (2uu4). Piomoting Ciitical-Thinking Bispositions by 0sing

Pioblem Solving in Niuule School Nathematics. J4K? L*3'*$C J$($2.75 '* 4'@@3$

K$/$3 ?@-72#'"*9 =I(1), 1-1S.

Little, N. E. (2uu9). Teaching Nathematics: Issues anu Solutions. 8?1GHD!M ?N7$)#'"*23

G5'3@.$* O3-(9 :(1).

NcKnight, A., & Nulligan, }. (2u1u). Teaching Eaily Nathematics "Smaitei Not Baiuei":

0sing 0pen-Enueu Tasks to Builu Nouels anu Constiuct Patteins. 1-(#.23'2*

O.'62.0 42#5$62#'7( G32((.""69 FP(S), 4-9.

Sezei, R. (2u1u). Pulling out All the Stops. ?@-72#'"*9 F>Q(S), 416-42S.

Stack, S., Watson, }., Binuley, S., Samson, P., & Bevlin, R. (2u1u). What's Aveiage. 1-(#.23'2*

42#5$62#'7( 8$275$.9 ::(S), 7-1S.

Way, }. (2uu8). 0sing Questioning to Stimulate Nathematical Thinking. 1-(#.23'2* O.'62.0

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Yoon, C., Bieyfus, T., & Thomas, N. 0. }. (2u1u). Bow Bigh Is the Tiamping Tiack.

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Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 18

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Properties of Exponents Performance Task

Task: With your group members solve the problem below. Discuss with

each other what needs to be solved, how to solve it, and what your

solution means. These three elements must be present in your

answer in order to receive full credit.

Grading: This will be graded as a product grade. Do your best, and

work with your group members to solve the problem.

The Problem: The radius of the Sun is about 109 times greater than

the Earths. How much greater is the Suns volume compared to the

Earths?

Hint: Volume of a Sphere = ! !

!

!

!!

!

Appendix D

Scientific Notation Performance Task

The Task: With your group members solve the problem below. You will

need to figure out what the problem is (2), what needs to be done

to solve it (8), whether the math you use is correct (8), and what

your answer means in the context of the problem (2).

Grading: This will be a product grade. The bolded tasks above are each

worth five points. They all need to be clearly addressed in order to

receive full credit.

The Problem: The United States currently has over $15, 353, 220,

000, 000 in debt. The country has a population of over 313, 000, 000

people. If every person paid 20 dollars every month to pay off the

debt, how many years would it take for the debt to be paid off

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 21

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(assuming no new debt is acquired)? Write your answer using scientific

notation.

Appendix E

Polynomial Performance Task

Task: With your group, you will solve the problem below. You will need

to clearly address; the information that the problem is giving you

(5pts), how you are going to use that information (5pts.), why your

math is correct (5pts), and what your solution means (5pts).

Grading: This will be graded as a product grade worth 20 points.

The four categories above must be clearly addressed in order to

receive full credit.

The Problem: You are designing a new can for your favorite soda

company. The only specifications that the company has given you, is

that the can's height must be four times its diameter, and the volume

of the can must be 25 in

3

. What polynomial will represent the volume of

the can that you design? Bonus (5pts): How would you find the height

of the can that you design?

Hint: Diameter = 2r

Volume of a Cylinder = !!

!

!

Appendix F

Factoring Performance Task

Task: With your group members you will work on solving the problem

below. In order to receive full credit, you will need to; identify the

important information that you will need to solve the problem

(5pts.), explain how you will use that information to solve the

problem (5pts.), explain why your method for solving the problem is

correct (5pts.), and explain what your solution means (5pts.).

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 22

Rising Tide Volume 5 22

Grading: This will be graded as a product grade, and all points above

need to be clearly addressed in order to receive all 20 points.

The Problem: You are the manager of a restaurant that has a buffet

line that has entres and dessert items. You need to make sure that

bacteria will not grow on the food in your buffet, so that your

customers do not get food poisoning. Food poisoning is bad for

business.

The health inspector tells you that the quadratic,

B = T

2

+ 150(T) 1600, represents the number of bacteria cells, B,

based on the temperature of the food, T. How hot or cold do you need

to keep your food, so that your buffet does not give someone food

poisoning? Hint: To prevent food poisoning, the number of bacteria

cells should be zero.

Appendix G

For each statement below circle the option that represents how strongly you agree or

disagree.

1) I feel confident in my ability to recognize the math needed to solve a real world problem.

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree

2) I feel confident in my ability to use math to solve real world problems.

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree

3) I do not feel confident in my ability to recognize the math needed to solve real world

problems.

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree

4) I do not feel confident in my ability to use math to solve real world problems.

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree

Problem Solving Higher Order Thinking 2S

Rising Tide Volume 5 2S

5) I can use math to solve problems in my life.

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree

6) Math is used in the real world to solve problems.

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree

7) I cannot use math to solve problems in my life.

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree

8) Math is not used in the real world to solve problems.

Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree