Making Sense Out of Nonsense

One expert who interprets neuroscience for educators, Dr. Bob Sylwester, says it is a teacher’s role to “make sense out of nonsense” (1998, ASCD video). In considering the traditional classroom versus the sense-making classroom, discuss the prerequisite skills to learning mathematical concepts (on p. 165 in Sousa text) and how you would use them to diagnose and remediate a student’s difficulty with mathematics. Please feel free to use an example from your own classroom and insert your own, time-tested strategies!

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Math is a topic which is complex and that must be transformed from the abstract to the concrete in order for learners to conceptualize and understand the related processes as well as the product, quotient or sum of the computation on record (Sousa, 2008). As Sylwester asserts, (1998) it is the teacher’s role to “make sense out of nonsense”. My interpretation of the said assertion means that the ownership is on the classroom teacher to convey math content with clarity, accuracy and precision ...
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