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A critical look at tasks for 10-12 year old students: Promoting generalization.

Guided by: Michal Tabach, Tel Aviv University


Pattern detection and generalization are at the heart of mathematical activity, particularly in school mathematics. Generalizations may stem from number patterns, geometrical patterns, geometrical properties of shapes and solids, and more. That is, the activity of generalizing may be promoted as a regular ingredient of classroom practice. Towards this aim, the teacher may seek to implement tasks in the classroom that have the potential to promote generalizations. Regarding such tasks, we may ask"
  • Can we point to task design characteristics that have the potential to promote generalizations
    among upper primary students?

  • What are the roles of computerized tools in promoting generalizations?
This working seminar will provide hands-on experience with tasks from various mathematical domains. Activities will be presented using different representations, including numerical, visual, and manipulative form. The participants will explore problems, with and without the use of technological tools.
The explored examples will be used as a basis for evaluating the potential of tasks to promote generalizations. A discussion about identifying design principles that have the potential to evoke generalizations among upper elementary school students will take place. The role of computerized tools within the tasks will be critically discussed. The collective expertise of the participants will allow a reflective discussion that may suggest some answers to the questions posed above.

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