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    Developing Visual Representations in Primary Mathematics


    25 Oct, 2018

    10 : 00

    • Academic research and evidence is increasingly showing that using visual representations in mathematics is highly beneficial to students’ learning. Pictures help students see mathematical ideas, which aids understanding. Visual mathematics also facilitates higher-level thinking, enables communication and helps students see the creativity in mathematics.

      There is often the misconception that diagrams, pictures and manipulatives are purely for lower year-level mathematics. However, at YCIS we are encouraging students to use visuals often in their learning. Visual representations help us to understand and connect concepts more deeply, as well as tackle problems that may at first seem impossible.

      As teachers at YCIS, we are aiming to create mathematical excitement within our Learning Communities. This is achieved by asking our students for the different ways they see and can solve the problems and by encouraging discussion of different ways of seeing and approaching problems.

      This approach focuses not necessarily on the ‘answer’ or ‘completion’ of a task, but rather an understanding of how the task can be completed. We value the students’ methods and attempts, thoughtful ideas and suggestions over simple procedural calculations.

      The use of visuals plays a large part in students’ understanding when they approach investigative or real-life problems involving mathematics as they provide an opening to begin to comprehend what the problem is and what is required to solve it.