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Model Using Mathematical Representations


What are various ways to represent numerical data?

Develop an appropriate mathematical representation that accurately reflects the patterns that you noticed.

Time To Complete 

3-4 Hours

Content Areas 

  • Math

Common Core Standards 

  • CCSS.MP.6
  • CCSS.MP.4
  • CCSS.MP.2

I Can Statements 

I can:

  • Choose a format for presenting the pattern that aids understanding
  • Present numbers accurately

I will know my representation of the pattern is of high quality when it:

  • Aids understanding by clarifying, organizing or using other presentation techniques

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, reviewing their pattern representations to ensure they meet the requirements of the assignment, purpose, and audience.
  • Ask students to use rubrics or checklists to self-assess their work and develop a plan for revision.
Possible Activities 
  1. Introduce students to possible representations, including graphic, tabular, algebraic, and infographic. Ask students to consider the question “How can you figure out what you want to present, and present it in the most compelling, comprehensive, and memorable way possible?” 

  2. Conduct a mini-lesson on the definition and purpose of using and presenting models to answer questions about the world around us focusing on real-world examples such as:

    • Do women make the same amount of money as men around the world? (comparing salaries worldwide)
    • In what country is a child most likely to be undernourished or illiterate? (comparing global statistical data)
    • Have students work in groups to brainstorm other questions that can be answered by using numbers. (available data) 
  3. Give students two visual representations of the same pattern or set. Ask them to compare and contrast the representations, identifying the key elements that each contains and evaluating which tells communicates more clearly.

  4. Students should brainstorm about the benefits and drawbacks of different types of representations.  Offer students a chance to look at exemplars.

  5. Model planning the right design for presentation through think-alouds, revealing how you organize your notes and then begin to create your draft. You might want to try multiple organizations, graphs, and visuals and ask students to evaluate that they find most effective and why.

  6. If students come up with multiple representations, devote class time to discussing similarities and differences between the representations. Often, two seemingly different representations are really saying the same thing mathematically, and teachers can make use of opportunities to make these connections between different representations.

Downloadable Resources 
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