# Essay: NCTM Process Standards

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¶ … NCTM Process Standards

Problem-solving

In my class, problem-solving activities were integrated into every learning unit. Some of the methods deployed included learning how to use fractions in a hands-on fashion. As well as doing standard fraction-related problems on paper, students were asked to make visual representations of fractions and use them to solve word problems.

Learning how to make unit conversions was one of the most useful skills learned by the students. Students were given problems similar to those they might cope with in daily life, such as converting standard measurements to the metric system and vice versa. Students also were given the task of painting an imaginary room, and were asked to scale 'up' the amount of paint it would take to cover the surface area, based upon the previous amount used for the smaller, similarly-shaped room.

Students were given problems involving distance, rate, and time. All of these were intended to show the applications of problem-solving activities in math in 'real life' and teach students that understanding math required more than merely manipulating equations.

Reasoning & proof

For all problems worked on in class or at home, students were required to show how they arrived at their answers. It was not enough to simply get the right answer -- the process had to be demonstrated correctly. Focusing on the process of solving a problem over getting the right answer was stressed, contrary to how mathematics is usually taught. Using a process-based teaching strategy underlines the fact that there are different, but equally valid ways of arriving at the same answer for a problem, although some methods are more efficient.

Depending on the learning orientation of the student (verbal, visual, spatial, or kinesthetic) some activities proved more effective for certain members of the class than others, so a variety of strategies were used to teach a single concept. For example, one kinesthetic activity entitled "Walk down the line" required the students…
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