Mere Definition Essay

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In the article, The Role of Definition, the author discusses how a mere definition can affect the way a student will interpret information. A definition can contain concepts that are difficult to understand and will hamper a student’s ability to learn. As math in the classroom progresses, The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics recommends that the students create their own definitions of for mathematical terminology with the modification from a teacher. This is done to get the student to think on his or her own, integrating critical thinking skills into the way the students learned. There was a concept that was introduced that captured my attention. Students were expected to know what the word “angle” meant in regards to math. Each …show more content…
Take the concept of fraction as an example. A teacher could easily say, “A fraction is 2 or more parts of whole unit,” to which the students will not understand. Instead, a teacher could show examples of a pie with sections missing from or a pizza having several slices missing. From there, the teacher would demand a way to describe the visual aid using numbers. Once the students come up with a definition, the instructor can combine the correct parts of each definition. Another example would be squaring a number; the definition being “a number multiplied by itself is a square.” Instead, the teacher could show how one would multiply length and the width of a square to get the area. The teacher would then explain why this word is called a …show more content…
Area is defined as “the measurement of a given surface”. Instead of telling them the definition, I would have them measure the surfaces that they measured the perimeter of. To do so, I would give them a flat, paper square to measure these surfaces. Once they would have their measurements, I would then connect perimeter to the task at hand with their definition of area. This would create the association of perimeter and area as geometric terms. This method seems more difficult to begin with but proves more successful in getting students to think about “why” do the get the answer they do as opposed to “how” to get the right

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