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Courtney Madison

LBS 360
Due: 12/7/11

Language (30


1. What are the Five Phases of the Learning Cycle? Discuss each Phase in relation to mathematics
The Five Phases of the Learning Cycle pertain to the 5 Es of teaching a thorough lesson from a
behaviorist perspective. The phases include Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Extension, and
Evaluation. In a math lesson, during the Engagement phase, the teacher poses a math-related question
to the students such as whats a fraction? that is not meant to be answered right away. Before the
students can begin to attempt answering, the teacher must move quickly and directly to the
Exploration phase. In this phase the students are given mathematical manipulatives pertaining to the
lesson to play with freely. After a few moments of play with the teacher walking around and asking
the students pointed questions about what they are doing, the teacher may then prod the students
towards making observations about the objects. If the students have pattern blocks in this case, the
teacher may ask them what the different shapes are called or tell them when they dont know. The
teacher will then prod them to making fractional correlations between the blocks by having the
students come up with and display all of the different ways to make a hexagon using the pieces given.
After thoroughly exploring the ways that the shapes correlate fractionally, the teacher will then
move into the Explanation phase in which the teacher explains the relevance the patter blocks have to
math and fractions. The teacher may then move into the Extension phase in which students are given
mathematical expressions or problems that the students may at first use the manipulatives to solve,
and then move to not using the manipulatives at all because the progress they have gone through has
given them enough understanding to not need them. The students are then moved into the Evaluation

Courtney Madison
LBS 360
Due: 12/7/11
phase where they are assessed for their understanding through discussing and writing about what they
used, what they did with the materials, what they learned from the lesson, and how they feel about it.

2. What are the Four Phases of the Writing Cycle? Discuss each Phase in relation to mathematics
The four phases of the Writing Cycle include the Prewrite Stage, the Write Stage, the Postwrite
Stage, and the Rewrite Stage. The Writing cycle begins when the Evaluation phase of the Five Phases
of the Learning Cycle begins. The children talking about the math lesson they just completed, telling
the teacher and one another what they used, what they did, and what they learned tie into the
Prewriting Stage of the Writing Cycle. Once the students comments regarding these questions are
placed on paper by the teacher, the students can then move onto the Writing Phase of the cycle. The
students can write an expository or short narrative about what they did during the math lesson and
how they felt about it. This drives the students to create long lasting understanding and retention of the
material. During the Postwrite stage, the students can then talk to each other about what they wrote
and compare their answers. Sometimes when a child hears another child talk about a subject such as
math, they have a better understanding of the subject because they are hearing it from a childs
perspective. The Rewrite Stage allows for the students to rethink and reflect on their answer combined
with the answers that they gained from talking to their peers in the Postwrite Stage. This process
ensures that children have a thorough understanding of the math concept and how to use the newly
gained tools properly.

3. What is the Language Experience Approach and how can it be applied to mathematics

Courtney Madison
LBS 360
Due: 12/7/11
The Language Experience Approach dictates that what a child can do they can talk about, what
they can talk about they can write about, what they can write about they can read, and what they
can read they can listen to. This trend is also known as SWRL or Speak, Write, Read, and Listen.
This approach insinuates that if a child is able to work with materials and manipulatives
effectively that pertain to mathematics, then they can comfortably talk about what they did and
understand from the materials. If they can talk about their experiences and understanding of the
manipulatives, then they can write about it both in an academic and narrative form as well as in
number sentence form. If they can write about their experiences with the mathematical materials,
then they can also read about them from their own work as well as others including supplementary
text books and the piers. Finally, because they can read about the topic, they can now effectively
listen to short lectures and discussions regarding the topic and comprehend what is being said. The
key to the entire approach is the teachers desire for the student to not memorize, but to truly

II. Content (30 %)

4. What are the four Processes of Transition? Discuss the significance of each process in relation
to the teaching of mathematics education.
The four processes of transition include Physical Experience, Social Interaction, Maturation, and
Equilibration. In order for a child to reach Equilibration in mathematical understanding, which is the
goal, the child must first physically experience the math. Manipulatives put the actual concept of
numbers into the childrens hands and gives them a concrete understanding of how numbers and other
more complicated stages of mathematics work. This also drives the student towards the desire to learn
for themselves because it is fun and interesting. A majority of students that learn this way do not feel

Courtney Madison
LBS 360
Due: 12/7/11
that they are learning math at all, but are none the less quite proficiently. After the students have
experienced the physical activity pertaining to math, they must then transition to Social Interaction, or
speaking to one another about what they discovered and understand regarding math. By comparing
notes, the students talking gain a more concrete understanding while those who are struggling may
now understand the concept because they heard it from a pier in their age related language rather than
from an adult.
Another huge factor in this process it the scaffolding that occurs in the Maturation aspect of the
transitions. In order for a child to completely and comfortably play with and grasp a concept in math,
the must be at the developmental level to attain the new information. If the childs foundation of math,
generally numbers themselves, is insecure then when the child attempts to take on more information,
the entire desire to learn math crumbles because they do not have enough prior knowledge to make
sense of the new information. The new information must tie in seamlessly with the previously learning
information in order to ensure that the child can continue to build on their mathematical knowledge.
Equilibration is the stage in which the child can asses, self-correct, and challenge themselves with
mathematics, looking to find and understand more information, and seek out their own experiences
because the prior three steps are completely solid. If a child has enough experience, interaction, and
efficient scaffolding of information, then they will be more than capable of fixing any errors or
misconceptions as they continue to grow and learn in the mathematical realm of education.

III. Theory/Lecture (20 %)

5. Compare and contrast Direct Teaching (Behaviorism) and Inquiry-based Teaching
(Constructivism)? Justify your response(s). How can a student learn if the teacher doesnt correct their
wrong answers? How does your response relate to the four Processes of Transition?

Courtney Madison
LBS 360
Due: 12/7/11
Constructivism is a method in which children are encouraged to explore and find the answers to
questions regarding their education on their own. They are given the parameters, tools, and proper
prompting to lead them to the direction of the topic that they are meant to learn, but are allowed to
reach that understanding through physical experience, interaction, and a scaffold based development
of understanding of the content. This ties together not only with the 5 phases of the learning cycle, but
also with the Processes of Transition because Behaviorism is completely dependent on students
learning in that order and with that amount of concrete retention and command of the concepts.
Behaviorism, however, is a method in which the children are presented with a broad topic, and then
given the smaller pieces of the larger concept one by one and generally taught out of context. The
children in this environment are generally speaking not given any physical tools other than a book,
pencil, and paper. The child must then learn completely abstractly regardless of whether they are
developmentally capable of doing so or not.

6. Name the four Process Questions? Discuss the significance of each question in relation to the
teaching of mathematics education.
The four Process Questions are what materials did you use?, what did you do with the
materials?, what did you learn?, and how did that make you feel? with regards to a lesson taught
by a teacher with the five phases of learning cycle method of instruction. Asking the children what
materials they used after a pattern block lesson helps them to solidify their retention of the names of
the different shapes. When the children are asked what they did with materials such as pattern blocks,
they are able to discuss and reflect upon what they did during the activity and begin to help them think
about the next question. After the first two questions are asked, the third question draws upon the first
two and the children are then able to make the correlation between the concept that they learned and

Courtney Madison
LBS 360
Due: 12/7/11
the materials that they used to learn the concept. They can now take the manipulatives out of the
process of utilizing this new math skill, but because they reflected upon it, they have a better
understanding of how they reached their capacity of grasping the concept. In the final question, the
children are given the opportunity to express themselves and let others know how learning something
made them feel. This can be a learning tool for teachers on how to possibly go through the lesson
more effectively next time. More importantly, it gives the child an voice and an opinion, and therefore
a desire to talk and participate more readily when taught this way.

IV. General (20 %)

7. Discuss the significance of each as relates to mathematics education:

a. Our job, as educators, is not to cover the curriculum but to uncover the curriculum.
When the children we teach understand what is expected from them, then they are far
more likely to succeed. When the children walk blindly through learning and dont firmly
grasp what teacher expect from them, then they are giving blind and unsure answers. The
more confident a child is, the better they do. The more a child knows and understands, the
more confident they are.
b. Whoever does the most talking does the most learning. (Academic-talk - CALPs)
The more a child talks academically about a concept or topic, the more solid their
understanding of the concept is. When a child talks about the concept they are learning, they
are teaching, rethinking, and evaluating their own understanding, and are therefore creating
lifelong retention of that concept because of how thoroughly they understand it.
c. We do not learn by doing, we learn by thinking about what we have done.

Courtney Madison
LBS 360
Due: 12/7/11
We cant always see what we learned simply by learning it. Reflection is a key factor in
students understanding and retaining new information. By talking and more importantly by writing
about the new concept, the students are putting what they did in their own words in a way that
makes sense to them, and are therefore creating their own notation of what they learned. By
looking over this notation, they can then reassess and evaluate their understanding.
d. Emotion drives attention; attention drives learning
When children have a personal or investment in something, they are much more attentive
and aware of everything about it. For instance, when a child has a personal reason to learn
something, whether it be because they want to know the answer to a question, they can relate to
the topic, or it is a fun and interesting activity, they are far more involved and willing to make
sincere efforts than the child doing something to do with school because they have to. The more
attention the children pay to the lesson due to their interest, the more information they pick up and
retain because it means something to them in one way or another.